When you're looking for ways to spice up your food or make a dish more palatable, condiments such as ketchup and mayonnaise typically come to mind. However, most dieters don't realize that these condiments can actually sabotage your diet plan and leave you well over your daily calorie and fat limits.
Popular condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise and many sauces contain high amounts of sugar, salt and fat; you might be adding extra calories to even the healthiest salad or entree without even realizing it!
However, there are several ways to cut back on the condiments and still enjoy your dish with some tasty alternatives. Here are some tips to help you avoid diet sabotage:
The Unhealthy Condiments List
Beware of the following condiments next time you want to add some flavor to your dish:
Regular mayonnaise is full of fat and contains large amounts of sugar and salt. Avoid adding mayonnaise to your sandwiches, salads and other foods; look for a fat-free or light version whenever possible.
Tartar sauce contains mayonnaise, pickled cucumbers, onions and capers, which means it contains a high level of unsaturated fat and sodium.
Many creamy salad dressings are made with calorie-laden mayonnaise, oil and sugar. Make sure you read the label of your favorite salad dressing to find out what it is made of and search for a low-fat or fat-free version instead. Alternatively, you can skip the dressing altogether and season your salad with lemon juice, olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette.
Pesto makes for a good choice when eating Italian, but it, too, can be high in fat and sodium. This herbaceous sauce is olive oil-based, so while it's high in "good" monounsaturated fat, it's still fat. And again, that cheese adds a few salt grams to a pesto-based dish, so go easy.
Mayonnaise is commonly used in the preparation of picnic salads, such as pasta salad , potato salad and dips. It is also a common spread for sandwiches and subs. In addition to other ingredients, mayonnaise is composed of oil, vinegar, lemon juice and egg yolks. In 1 Tblsp of mayonnaise, there are approximately 11 grams of fat, 100 calories and 85 mg of sodium. A healthier option would be non-fat mayonnaise or fat free Greek yogurt.
Because of the low amount of calories, fat, cholesterol and sugar, yellow mustard is often a recommended condiment for those that enjoy dipping sauces or spreads. In 1 tsp of yellow mustard, there are 3 calories, 0.2 grams of fat and 0 grams of sugar. In 1 tsp of yellow mustard, there are 57 mg of sodium.
Ranch dressing is a popular choice for salad dressing, pasta salads and dipping sauces. In 2 Tblsp of a leading manufacturer’s ranch dressing, there are 148 calories, 15.6 grams of fat, 8 mg of cholesterol, 287 mg of sodium and 1.2 grams of sugar. Most people use more than 2 Tblsp of dressing on their salad, which quickly turns what could have been healthy into an unhealthy meal. Any creamy salad dressing is going to be higher in calories and fat, so choosing a vinegar based dressing or purchasing a fat-free version will provide nutritional benefits.
As is the case with ketchup, this popular cookout condiment is loaded with sugar and sodium. While relish in low in calories and fat, the sodium and sugar content make it an unhealthy choice for health conscious individuals. In 1 Tblsp of relish, there are only 20 calories and 0.1 grams of fat. However, there are 122 mg of sodium and 4.4 grams of sugar in the same tablespoon!
Healthier choices in condiments do not contain any fat, and in some cases, are calorie-free. You can still enjoy your favorite dish and enhance its flavor without sabotaging your diet by saying no to condiments made with mayonnaise, sugar and oils and sticking with lighter and fat-free versions of your favorites instead.
Some of the healthier condiments are discussed below.
Mustard is a healthy condiment. Mustard does not have any added sugar and it itself is a great source of antioxidants. The yellow mustards on the other hand contains paprika and turmeric, both of which together is a great source of powerful antioxidants, while turmeric is one of the anti-cancer spices available. Guacamole is another good and healthy condiment.
Gucamole contains a lot of healthy fats that helps in regulating and satisfying appetite, and is full of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fibers. The creamy guac boosts the taste of anything you add to it. You can put guac on your burgers, fish, chicken, eggs or opt to just have it with a veggie stick! Salsas are also healthy. Though ketchup positions itself on the list for being unhealthy, salsa, however, creates a position as being healthy as it almost contains no sugars. You can try it with the eggs in the morning just to add a variety, you will love it. For a great party treat, try mixing a mix with half salsa and half guac – it’s really delicious! If you love ketchup too much, you can try out having a burger with salsa. You will find it as tasty as the ketchup and still be having something healthy.
Hummus is also a good option. It is mostly just tahini, chickpeas, lemon, olive oil and garlic. Thus it is one of the most healthiest condiments. It is also by itself a separate snack. When you buy hummus, make sure to buy the ones made out of olive oil and not from canola or soyabean oil. Veggie sticks with hummus is a great snack. Alternatively, you can try it on the top of meat dishes or have it with sandwiches. Pesto also lists as a healthy condiment. Usually it is a mashed mixture of pine nuts, grated cheese, garlic, basil and olive oil. Pesto is a brilliant source of antioxidants and healthy fats. Incredible combination of pesto includes adding it on meat dishes, eggs or sandwiches.