Condiments—are they good for you?
July 24, 2017 | Jody Gatewood
By Sarah Allen, Nutrition Program Student Assistant
One of the joys of summer is grilling. One thing that we may not think about is the nutrition of the condiments that we use for grilled foods. I looked at five condiments from my local grocery store and compared them. Take a look at what I found:
|Tomato Ketchup||Yellow Mustard||Ranch Dressing||Hot Sauce||Barbecue Sauce|
|Serving||1 Tbsp.||1 tsp.||2 Tbsp.||1 tsp.||2 Tbsp.|
|Total Fat, g||0g||0g||14g||0g||0g|
|Carbohydrates (sugar), g||5g (4g)||0g (0g)||2g (1g)||0g (0g)||8g (7g)|
|Vitamin A % DV**||2%||0%||0%||2%||4%|
|Vitamin C % DV**||2%||0%||2%||4%||0%|
|Calcium % DV**||0%||0%||0%||N/A*||0%|
|Iron % DV**||0%||0%||0%||N/A*||0%|
*N/A: not mentioned on the nutrition label
**DV: Daily Value – calculated based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your needs may vary.
Most of these condiments are tasty, but it is important to keep in mind that they are:
- High in sodium—this can cause high blood pressure
- Have little to no protein
- Have little to no vitamins and minerals
- Have empty calories—this means calories that do not provide much nutrition
The serving size in the chart is what is listed on the label. If more than that is used, that would mean the sodium would be even higher. In general, we should eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. If you or your kids are like me when I was a kid, you may dunk everything in ketchup, ranch dressing, or barbecue sauce.
Consider using a small amount of these condiments and adding vegetables to your favorite foods to add more flavor (and color)! For example, add leafy lettuce, tomato and onion to your hamburger or chicken sandwich. Be sure to look for next week’s blog post about the cost of these condiments and some healthier ways to use them!