5 Most Unhealthy condiments (and 5 healthy alternatives)

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Five Condiments that Will Spicen Up Your Food Without Ruining Your Diet

Since time immemorial, humans have used condiments to improve the taste of their food. From the year 3000 BC when ancient Sumerians used spice to cover up the taste of spoiled meat to 2009 AD where we coat our broccoli in cheese sauce to make it more palatable, condiments have always been an essential part of our diet. In today’s health-conscious society we often use condiments to liven up otherwise bland (but healthy) foods. Unfortunately, what many people don’t realize is that very often these condiments contain more fat and calories than the food itself.

For example, examine an ordinary tuna sandwich, composed of bread, tuna, and mayonnaise. Half a can of tuna contains only 110 calories and 1% the daily recommended value of fat. Two slices of whole wheat bread have a total of 140 calories and 0% the daily recommended value of fat. Just 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise (which is made up ENTIRELY of calories from fat) can contain up to 220 calories and 30% the daily recommended intake of fat. The effect of adding mayonnaise has essentially doubled the amount of calories in your tuna sandwich and multiplied the fat content by thirty. This is particularly frightening considering that tuna sandwiches are often purported to be one of the healthiest sandwiches, and they are almost always made with mayonnaise.

While mayonnaise is one of the more drastic examples, it is certainly not alone. Most cheese or cream based sauces are high in fat and calories. Ketchup, the King of Condiments, while low in fat and high in lycoprene (a powerful antioxidant which can help protect against cancer), in most commercial brands it contains at least a teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon serving.

Are we to therefore avoid condiments altogether? Are we doomed then to either crippling obesity or staggeringly tasteless food? No! Never fear! For there is hope! Below are listed 5 condiments (in no particular order) which will bring excitement to your food without adding inches to your waistline. Read, and rejoice!

Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is an excellent condiment. It can be added to a wide variety of food and provides a huge amount of flavor for less than 5 calories per serving. Hot sauce also contains capsaicin which helps to boost metabolism, resulting in further burning of calories.

Honey

Honey is an excellent alternative to adding additional sugar to foods. It is a natural sweetener and in addition acts as an antioxidant, weight-loss supplement and anti-macrobial and antibacterial product. Honey can be used to sweeten everything from tea, to pancakes to baked hams.

Mustard

As an alternative to fattening mayonnaise, mustard is excellent. It’s flavor ranges from sharp and slightly bitter to pleasantly sweet and even savory in addition to containing less than 5 calories per serving. It can be eaten on hamburgers, hotdogs and various types of sandwiches, among other things.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce tends to be associated with Asian cooking but it can be used in everything from Mexican fare to traditonal French cuisine. Soy sauce is low in calories and fat but one must be careful with it if on a low-sodium diet because certain brands contain a lot of salt. Soy sauce has many of the benefits associated with Soy. These benefits stem mainly from the high amount of isoflavones contained in Soy. Isoflavones have been shown to reduce blood pressure, lower cholestoral, and slow heart rate to a healthy level.

Salsa

This traditional Mexican sauce has become very popular across the globe. It provides an excellente alternative to nacho cheese, which contains 180 calories per tablespoon serving. Salsa has 10 calories per serving, with zero fat. It is usually made with vegetables, especially tomatoes and onions, and it derives much of the benefit which those two plants are able to provide.

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