I’m guessing you’re on a diet or about to begin one, and you’re already bored with the options included in your diet program. Am I right? While it may seem absolutely harmless to add a topping here or a dip there, condiments can actually be destructive to your diet if you choose the wrong ones.Whether you are striving for good health or just beginning a new diet, luckily there are some condiments that will help you be successful and won’t destroy your diet. These condiments can allow you to enjoy good taste and flavor even during the strictest diet program! Read on to learn about healthy condiments you can indulge in, as well as the ones that can hurt you.
So what do you want first? The good news, or the bad news?
The Best 5 Condiments for Good Health
Ok let’s start with the good news. Here are 5 condiments you can safely eat, in moderation, while on just about any diet.
While you may think of salsa as simply a topping for chips, you couldn’t be more wrong! You can put salsa on tons of bland foods to add spice and texture to a meal- while packing a serving of vegetables along with it! Make sure to choose a salsa with no sugar added (any good salsa won’t have sugar in it anyway). Salsas are primarily all veggies, so you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. You can add salsa to just about anything- scrambled eggs, chicken, salads, or even turkey burgers. Get creative! If you’re trying to avoid sugary ketchup, salsa can be a fine replacement.
As a side note- since we brought it up- stay away from chips! While most people associate healthy salsa with chips, corn chips are terrible for you, and getting that healthy salsa into your diet isn’t worth eating the chips. So use salsa as a topping for healthy food, and NOT for chips.
Hooray for mustard! While its usual sidekick, ketchup, makes the naughty list (we’ll get to that in a minute), mustard is one of the best condiments for your diet and overall health, so you can feel free to use it liberally. Mustard doesn’t contain any sugar, and it actually contains high doses of healthy antioxidants that are great for you.
Spice addicts, rejoice! Most people who enjoy spicy food have problems with healthy diets because they miss the intense flavors that they are used to with their old diets full of Buffalo wings and other fried foods. If at all possible- use real peppers to flavor up your food! They are good for you- they’re a vegetable for goodness sakes!
But if you are stuck on the hot sauce, luckily most hot sauces are sugar free, so you can use them somewhat liberally. Before adding it to your meal, check the label to make sure there is no sugar in it. You also want to check for the sodium level, because most hot sauces are really high in salt content. Try to avoid salty sauces, or use them very sparingly just to get a dash of that spicy flavor you’re craving.
Most people don’t even know what is in pesto, but luckily it is all healthy stuff! Most pesto sauces are made of basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and garlic. Olive oil is great for you, and the rest of the ingredients feature a variety of antioxidants that are great for your health. While many people think pesto is just good in pasta, be adventurous. Pesto is great as a topping for chicken, steak, or any kind of protein. You can use it as a spread on sandwiches, wraps, or flatbread.
Sugar Free, (No Sugar Added) All Natural Jellies and Jams
Don’t just grab the first sugar free jelly you see in the grocery store, because the sugar has most likely been replaced with alternative sweeteners which are even worse for you than natural sugar. Look for an all-natural, jelly or jam that is created of entirely fruit. This can obviously be a treat at breakfast, and even as a spread on sandwiches for extra flavor.
The Worst 5 Condiments for Good Health
Ok, now it’s time for the bad news. Here are 5 of the worst condiments for your overall health and diet that you should steer clear from, at all times.
First, our old standby, ketchup tops the list. I know, this will be a sad announcement for many of us who grew up slathering ketchup on just about everything. Heck, a good portion of the population actually claims to believe ketchup to be a vegetable because there is some tomato content in there. But ketchup is packed full of sugar and is a nightmare for someone who is dieting and trying to cut calories. Ketchup manufacturers pack ketchup full of sugar, which allows it to sit for weeks bottled on tables without refrigeration!
Mayo is bad for a lot of reasons, first because it is really high in fat. Also, the primary ingredient in mayonnaise is soybean oil, which means that there really isn’t much nutritional value in mayo in any form. Refined soybean oil can cause inflammation and the excessive amount of fat can throw your omega levels off balance. If you must have mayo, buy an olive oil based mayonnaise, which contains no soybean oil. You can use it sparingly on sandwiches, as eliminating the soybean content makes it much healthier.
Basically, all salad dressings that you can purchase at the grocery store are bad for you. The regular ones are full of fat and sugar. The fat free ones are usually packed with even more sugar. Many salad dressings claim to have healthy ingredients like olive oil, but in most cases the level of healthy ingredients are very low. Most salad dressings have high levels of soybean oil which isn’t good for you. If you need salad dressing, use olive oil, vinegar, or make your own salad dressing from home using recipes you can find online full of only healthy ingredients.
Have you ever made quick BBQ sauce from home, if you ran out and need a quick substitute? The recipe calls for ketchup mixed with brown sugar. If you didn’t learn anything from the prior section on ketchup, BBQ sauce is clearly loaded with sugar and has little to no nutritional value. So stay away from it!
Many people dip just about everything in Ranch dressing these days, it’s almost like the new ketchup! Unfortunately, this popular dip and salad dressing is made from basically mayonnaise and sour cream. It really has no nutritional value. The thicker, creamier dressings are worse for you, so stay as far away from them as possible! If you must snack on ranch dressing on occasion, limit yourself to a very small amount, and choose the healthiest ranch you can find at your local store, or try making a healthy version on your own.
If you are trying to stay healthy or maintain a strict diet, follow these 10 tips to make sure you eat the right condiments, and stay away from the bad ones!