Why These 7 Popular Condiments Are Bad for Your Health

When you are trying out a new healthy diet plan, you may not think much about a little drizzle of your favorite condiment added to your food. The bad thing is that many of us tend to add more than a ‘little drizzle’ of mayo to our sandwiches or ketchup to practically anything. And that so-called small amount could mean a lot of additional fat, salt and sugar added to your meals that you aren’t counting.


When it comes to mayonnaise for example, you are dealing with processed refined soybean oil as the main ingredient for most brands. Basically, there is nothing healthy about mayonnaise. Tartar sauce is also in the same category. If you are able to find a mayo that is made out of 100% olive oil instead of the traditional soybean oil, it would be a much healthier choice.


There is nothing better than a side of delicious fries served with a quality brand of ketchup to dip them in. But even if you choose to go with baked fries instead of the deep-fried alternative, dipping them in ketchup is still unhealthy.

According to Monica Auslander who is a registered dietician, and the founder of Essence Nutrition, one teaspoon of ketchup is the equivalent to eating a packet of sugar. “it’s deceiving because it has no fat, so people think they can enjoy ketchup freely.”

Her recipe for a healthier version of ketchup includes a jar or organic, unsweetened tomato paste, a teaspoon of onion powder, a half teaspoon of turmeric, a half teaspoon of paprika, one teaspoon of Himalayan salt, ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar and ¼ cup of water.

Honey Mustard Sauce

Honey Mustard Sauce may beat out Mayo as the most popular and most unhealthy condiment of them all. It is a delicious addition to everything from salads to chicken tenders. Even though mustard contains plenty of salt, it is generally a healthy choice because it is almost free of calories. But when honey is added to mustard, it turns into a condiment that is as full of sugar as ketchup. The experts say to stick with plain mustard with no added sugar. And for a healthier and tastier option, try pesto or hummus on your sandwiches. Just make sure that the hummus is made with olive oil and not soybean or canola oil.

Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Oh good, you decided to go with the fat-free version of your favorite salad dressing. Too bad it isn’t necessarily a healthier choice than the original. It turns out that the healthy salad that you are eating isn’t very healthy after all, even with fat-free dressing. Most fat-free salad dressings are loaded with extra sugar to give them a better taste. Remember that you actually need a good source of fat to go with your salad to help your body to absorb the vitamins and minerals in the vegetables you are consuming. So fat-free salad dressing is really not a healthy option after all. You could look for some healthy alternatives that are made with Greek yogurt.

Hoisin Sauce

It has been called the Chinese version of American BBQ sauce because it is that good marinated on your favorite meats. It is very sweet, spicy and salty. And unfortunately, it’s a sugar bomb for your chicken or steak. Danielle Flug Capalino, who is a registered dietitian in New York City recommends using oyster or sweet and sour sauce instead as a healthier option. “Oyster sauce is another staple Chinese flavor that is sweet, but has half the amount of sugar as hoisin sauce.”

Ranch Dressing

It is a common belief that just because salads are healthy, that we can ignore some of the other high-fat or sugary extras that we add to them, such as ranch dressing. But instead of pouring on the extra fat and calories that are contained in ranch dressing, you could try a tablespoon of tahini instead. Tahini is made out of ground sesame seeds, and even though it may be high in fat, it is a good unsaturated fat. You could dilute the tahini in a 1:1 ratio of water in order to thin out the consistency if desired.

Hot Sauce

You may think that surely hot sauce can’t contain too many harmful additives, but it actually has around 200 mg of sodium per teaspoon. The American Heart Association recommends that we stay within 1,500 mg of sodium per day. And most people probably use much more than a single teaspoon of hot sauce on their food. It is recommended that you use red pepper flakes as an alternative or fresh hot peppers such as jalapenos in order to get the same amount of heat that you desire in a much healthier way.