A doctor once told me that sugar is poison to the body. He looked me dead in the eye without a hint of sarcasm and informed me that sugar is what ruins the entire system. I listened and stared back at him fully understanding the gravity of the statement. Also knowing with 100% certainty that I wasn’t the type of person who could cut out sugar completely, no matter what good it would do for me. A fresh cannoli on a Sunday morning or chocolate chips cookies with milk after a long day is just never leaving my routine.

In an effort to be as healthy as I can I do try to find ways to reduce the amount of sugar I consume daily in ways that I won’t likely notice. My palate is my guide and what I’m about to share will likely not offend yours either.

I have the greatest respect for those who are able to cut sugar out of their diet completely (by choice or not). It is a lifestyle change that you have to embrace wholeheartedly otherwise it won’t take effect. This article is for those that can’t or don’t want to adapt that stringent of a regimen but would like to try to do better for themselves.

Sugar is hiding in many of the foods that you use on a regular basis and the amount is surprisingly high when you take the moment scan the label. You wouldn’t think of the following three items as culprits in the sugar decay of your body, but they sure are! By simply making better choices in regard to these things you can trim your sugar intake, make a positive impact on your health, and your taste buds will be none the wiser.

  1. Ketchup.

Ketchup is surprisingly high in sugar. It is one of the main ingredients with almost 4 grams of it in every tablespoon of the delicious red stuff. And who uses just one tablespoon? The sugar count can add up quickly so you can try and counter it by using less or you can look for brands that have reduced sugar. Heinz makes a Reduced Sugar version with 75% less than their original and, as someone who uses it, you don’t notice much of a taste differential. Go ahead and make the swap!

  1. Yogurt.

People think by choosing yogurt as a snack they’re doing their body good. But not all yogurts are created equal. That even goes for Greek yogurt. Any sweetened yogurt or flavored yogurt has sugar in it. The actual amount of sugar varies greatly between brands and flavors and must factor into your selection. Fruit on the bottom varieties are often the worst culprits with up to 30 grams in a serving. Check the label on every flavor you choose so your “healthy” choice doesn’t turn into an #epicfail.

  1. Salad dressing.

A salad can go from good-for-you to a diet nightmare all with the selection of dressing. Many of your favorites in the dressing aisle are packed with sugar and saturated fats making smart choices difficult. Watch out for non-fat options, which pile on the sugar to counter the loss of flavor. The good news is it’s easy to make a tasty dressing at home. You’ll know exactly what’s going into it and the fresh herbs and oils will pack a really delicious punch that you can’t get in a bottle from the store. Try it; you may never go back.

Making more informed choices will have an impact on your overall health, as well as your waistline, by the end of the year. If sugar is poison to the body, finding easy ways to reduce the amount you take in on a daily basis can only be in your best interest.