Condiments That are Making You Fat


Condiments might seem like a great way to enhance the flavors of your food or add a little spice, but did you know that some condiments are actually filled with additives that make it a lot harder for you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight? These additives can do this in a few ways:

  • They can interfere with a hormone called leptin that tells the brain when you are full.
  • They can increase the fat-storing hormone called insulin which causes calories going in to be converted into fat instead of being stored as “muscle energy.”
  • They can also make us addicted to them by altering brain chemicals called neurotransmitters making us have more cravings and less control.

Additives to Avoid

It’s important to know what these additives are and which condiments more commonly contain them, so you know what to look out for next time you’re loading up the shopping cart. Here are 7 of the worst additives you should be removing from your diet as much as possible.

  1. Stripped Carbohydrates. These are usually listed as sugar, flour, enriched white flour, white flour, enriched bleached flour, enriched wheat flour, wheat flour, semolina flour, white rice, maltodextrin, glucose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), fructose, sucrose, dextrose, and levulose.
  2. Artificial Sweeteners. These are usually listed as NutraSweet (aspartame), Sunette (acesulfame K), and Sweet ‘N Low (saccharin.)
  3. Added Caffeine in soft drinks and energy drinks. While a few cups of green tea or coffee each day is fine, you should be aware of when you’re consuming a little extra caffeine in that energy drink you bought on the corner.
  4. Trans Fats. Trans fats are also listed as partially hydrogenated oils.
  5. MSG. MSG is also labeled as monosodium glutamate.
  6. Excess Alcohol. One to two drinks per week is okay, but you shouldn’t be exceeding that, especially in one night.
  7. Excess Salt/Sodium. This is the norm for a lot of chips, crackers, canned food items, pickles, various cheeses, pretzels, condiments, and salted nuts.

Common Offenders

Now that you know what to look for on the label next time you shop, here are some top offenders you might need to remove from the pantry:

  • Kroger and Lawry’s Marinades: contains high fructose corn syrup.
  • Hunt’s Tomato Ketchup / Heinz 57: contains high fructose corn syrup.
  • Kraft’s Light Asian Toasted Sesame Reduced Fat Dressing: contains MSG.
  • Kraft’s Thick N Spicy Barbecue Sauce: contains MSG.
  • Hidden Valley’s Ranch Dressing: contains MSG.
  • Prego’s Italian Sauce Traditional: has 10 g of sugar per half cup.
  • Old El Paso Taco Seasoning: contains hydrogenated oils.
  • Reduced Fat (or regular) Jif Peanut Butter: full of hydrogenated oil and corn syrup solids.

Healthier Alternatives

What should you buy instead?

  • Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup. This is a great choice over the original because it doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup.
  • Curley’s Famous Hot and Spicy Barbecue Sauce. This delicious BBQ sauce doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup or MSG in it.
  • Newman’s Own Salad Dressing. When it comes to salad dressings, you want a low sugar version that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup.
  • Low Sodium Kikkoman’s Natural Soy Sauce. Their low sodium version contains 575 mg per tablespoon, while their regular contains 920 mg. That’s less than half the amount.
  • Lucini’s Hearty Artichoke Tomato Sauce. It only has 230 mg of sodium and less than 1 gram of sugar.
  • McCormick’s Original Taco Seasoning. Doesn’t contain any hydrogenated oils.
  • Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter. It contains only two ingredients: peanuts and salt.

It might seem like this is a lot to remember, but it’s actually pretty simple. As a rule of thumb, try to choose the low sodium and reduced sugar versions of food when available. Keep an eye out for high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and hydrogenated oils. And most importantly: if you’re reading a label and you don’t understand what the ingredients are, it’s probably not a healthy choice.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Another Carb-Cutting Solution

If you look online, you will find a variety of people preaching that you have to stay away from carbs at all costs if you want to shed belly fat. This simply is not the case. Researchers have searched for and discovered several things that can help you along the way.

Malt vinegarA variety of studies have examined how apple cider vinegar impacts insulin and blood sugar management. One of these studies demonstrated that 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar can bring about a 20% decrease in blood sugar levels if consumed after a carb-heavy meal.

Other research has found that participants of the study experienced nearly a 5% decrease in morning fasting blood sugar levels after consuming 2 tablespoons prior to sleeping the night before.

You may be wondering if apple cider vinegar has any effect on fat loss. Thus far there has been a single study conducted on the subject. Japanese researchers examined more than 150 participants who were split in to two groups. Some consumed apple cider vinegar while others simply consumed water every day for three months. After the conclusion of these three months, researchers discovered that apple cider vinegar group lost one to two pounds, on average, while the H20 group experienced zero weight loss. Additionally, it should be noted that the apple cider vinegar group gained this weight back after the study ended.

Josh Bezoni points out while it’s not necessarily ineffective, there are more effective ways to fight belly flat other than consuming two table spoons of apple cider vinegar each day for a 12 week period. If you are searching for a truly effective carb fighting behavior you are in luck. Josh Bezoni and Joel Marion have found a “ritual” that increases burning of fat, lesses fat storage, increases insulin sensitivity, and lowers one’s blood sugar. Perhaps the best part about this is that is a vinegar-free solution. Try it out and see if it works for you! 

Two Cellulite Solutions Exposed (Part Two)

Last week featured a blog focusing on cellulite. Namely, what it is and an exposé regarding the ineffective treatments that are out there. Liposuction and Mesotherapy were the treatments discussed last week. Let’s take a look at a few more sham treatments that are sadly all too common across this nation.

  1. A number of Cellulite Creams: There are an endless amount of creams on sale that are marketed as a cure for cellulite. However, academic studies have found no evidence corroborating their efficacy. Simple logic can tell you that slathering cream on one’s skin will most likely not cause tangible differences inside of your body. These cellulite creams are absorbed merely by the uppermost layer, and do not penetrate to deeper layers where cellulite actually sits. Functionally, our skin is here to prevent exactly this. That is not allowing foreign substances to soak into our bodies. Josh compares cellulite creams to rubbing food on your stomach in hopes that it will satisfy your appetite. It simply does not work, as logic and scientific research has shown. However, there are a few on the market that may actually work. Those that contain the ingredients theophylline and caffeine have seen some widespread success.
  2. Lipodissolve: Injection lipolysis, which is also referred to as Lipodissolve injections, involves the injection of a cocktail of enzymes, vitamins, and phoosphadatidylcholine being injected into fat pockets with the hope of breaking the cellulite part. However as with the case with Mesotheraphy and the other treatments on this list, there is no scientific evidence backing this procedure up. The typical recommendation is to undergo two to four treatments each week for as long as two months. This could mean as many as thirty-two treatments in all. Unsurprisingly, this can be exorbitantly expensive as well as quite uncomfortable. Side effects that are common include, but are not limited to, pain, bruising, itchiness, and minor burning sensation.