Condiments are one of the easiest ways to amp up the flavor in your foods. While the addition of some condiments provides flavor and little else, some can actually ramp up the health factor of your meal, while some of your favorites may be heaping hundreds of calories and unnecessary sugar, fat, and salt onto your already healthy meals, sabotaging your efforts to eat lighter and cleaner.
Anything in excess can be bad for you, so just because a food is low in calories doesn’t mean it’s free license to eat as much as you’d like. To keep our condiment analysis true and accurate, always stick to recommended portion sizes.
Salsa: 1 oz, 8 calories, .9g sugar
Veggies, herbs and spices, what could go wrong? If you’re whipping up your own, not much, but grabbing a jar of name brand salsa off the shelf can mean you’re pouring on preservatives, chemicals, loads of sodium, and even added sugar if you’re a fruit salsa fan. Big companies will pump their salsa full of preservatives to keep it shelf stable. Think about it — how else can “fresh” veggies sit on a shelf for weeks and still be edible?
If you go fresh and all natural, salsa can be an amazingly healthy and delicious option for just about anything. If buying from the store, you should be able to recognize every ingredient on the label. If making your own, dice up fresh roma tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic and a little jalapeno and pile that pico high to sneak in an extra serving of veggies. Try it on eggs, over chicken, or mixed with brown rice and kidney beans for a satisfying meatless Mexican filling. (more…)
By Team Best Life
You may use only a small amount of sugar in your coffee, butter on your toast, or ketchup on your burger, but those calories add up. Just how quickly? Here are the calorie counts of various condiments, organized from least calories to most, per the amount listed as a serving size on the packaging.
Warning: What you’re about to read may shock you!
Calories in Condiments:
Horseradish……………….…….0 calories per teaspoon
Lemon juice………………….….0 calories per teaspoon
Tabasco/Hot sauce……….….0 calories per tablespoon
Vinegar………………….………..0 calories per tablespoon
Mustard……………….………….5 calories per teaspoon
Salsa……………………….………10 calories per 2 tablespoons (more…)
When you hear high sodium food, you usually think salty snacks: pretzels, chips, crackers and the like. You may be surprised, however, that some of the highest sodium foods aren’t salty tasting at all.
We all should be cutting down on our sodium intake, as recommended by the 2010 American Dietary Guidelines, so head to your pantry and see if any of these sneaky sodium-packed foods have found there way into your kitchen.
Breakfast cereals are notorious for not only being packed full of sugar, but sodium as well. Cereals “are more concentrated in salt than 50 to 60 percent of the items in the salty snack aisle,” says Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale’s Prevention Research Center.
Many Americans are on low sodium diets and more of us should jump on that bandwagon. Sodium is a necessary component of life. It helps transmit nerve impulses, balance bodily fluids and influence muscular movement. On the flip side, too much sodium can cause severe complications. Among the many concerns are:
Reaching your sodium threshold is easier to do than one might think. According to the Mayo Clinic, one teaspoon of salt contains nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily intake for healthy adults (with many people needing even less.) It’s not particularly easy to cut back on salt, either. Salt is an acquired taste and although you can retrain your taste buds to enjoy food with out it, it takes a long time to do so. (more…)