Unhealthy condiments to limit

Unhealthy condiments to limit

Many condiments have unhealthy qualities that may require you to limit or avoid them in your diet.

Ranch dressing. Ranch dressing is high in calories with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) providing 129 calories. Be mindful of the serving size when using this dressing or substitute for a lower calorie alternative like salsa.

Fat-free salad dressing. Though lower in calories, fat-free dressings often contain more added sugar and salt than their full-fat counterparts. Instead, use a salad dressing made from wholesome, low-sugar ingredients (41Trusted Source).
Barbecue sauce. This sauce often has a lot of added sugar, with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) packing over 11 grams (3 teaspoons).
Pancake syrup. Syrup often contains high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Excessive intake of HFCS has been linked to heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. As a healthier alternative, use maple syrup (42, 43Trusted Source, 44Trusted Source, 45Trusted Source).
Queso. Most queso contains additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG has been associated with weight gain, but more research is needed. As a healthier alternative, use cheese or nutritional yeast (46Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source).
Margarine. Many margarine products contain traces of trans fat. Many studies have linked this type of fat to heart disease. Use healthy fats like olive oil or grass-fed butter instead (48Trusted Source).
Teriyaki sauce. Teriyaki sauce is high in sodium, with just 2 tablespoons (30 ml) providing over 60% of the RDI for this mineral. High-sodium diets have been linked to chronic conditions like heart disease and stroke (49Trusted Source).
Artificial sweeteners. Some observational studies link zero-calorie sweeteners to obesity. Still, the research is mixed. It’s best to limit artificial sweeteners in your diet (50Trusted Source, 51Trusted Source).
The bottom line
Condiments are a great and easy way to add extra flavor, texture, and nutrients to your meals.

Yet, many store-bought condiments can be high in calories, sugar, salt, and other additives.

There are many healthier alternatives, like salsa, tahini, guacamole, or balsamic vinegar. These condiments are minimally processed and made from wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients.

All nutrition information for the foods listed in this article is from the USDA Foods DatabaseTrusted Source.

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