Condiments come in jars, tubes, bottles, and packets and range from black pepper to pancake syrup to Sriracha. Designed to enhance the flavor of a particular dish or favorite snack, some condiments — even a small drizzle or quick pour — are packed with excess calories, processed ingredients, and extra sodium or sugar. Though condiments aren’t meant to provide nutrition in your diet, some offer protein, fiber, heart-healthy fats, and antioxidants.
Whether you’re making lunch at home for your children or attending a special dinner for work, I want to share the top condiments to choose and a few to take a pass on:
TOPPINGS TO TRY:
- Mustard Low in calories and brimming with anti-inflammatory benefits, mustard packs a punch: mustard can boost your metabolism, contains trace minerals, and can lower the risk of bladder cancer. Make your own with a few simple ingredients, then use it to marinade chicken or make a flavorful broiled crust on salmon!
- Fresh salsa Just thinking about sun-ripened tomatoes, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and minced garlic makes my mouth water. You can use fresh salsa to add a little zest to any meal, including baked chicken breasts, grilled fish, eggs, and salads.
- Kimchi Gut bacteria can influence our body weight, so eating probiotic foods that encourage healthy gut bacteria, like kimchi, is important. Add this spicy fermented condiment to eggs, salads, and brown rice for an extra kick!
ADD-ONS TO AVOID:
- Mayonnaise Though mayonnaise is made from whole ingredients like olive oil, vinegar, and egg yolks, one tablespoon has a whopping 100 calories! Since it can be challenging to portion control certain condiments, it’s better to make healthy substitutions. Sandwich lovers can swap their mayonnaise for mustard, and egg salad lovers can replace a big dollop of mayonnaise with a small amount of avocado or hummus instead.
- Ranch There are 129 calories and 16 grams of fat in two tablespoons of this popular salad dressing — and it’s likely there aren’t just two tablespoons mixed into your salad! Opt instead for my Fresh Avocado Salsa or a tiny bit of Greek yogurt.
- Barbecue sauce This common picnic staple contains up to 13 grams of sugar and 250 milligrams of sodium in a serving (two tablespoons), which is more than half of the allotted added sugar a person should eat in a day. Definitely skip this one!
Now that you know the healthiest condiments to reach for, see what fun and healthy combinations you can try! I love to hear from you, so let me know in the comments which condiments you’re loving most right now.
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