Healthy

The Healthiest Sauces You Can Eat Plus Some Condiments Worth Ditching

When you reach for the sauce to drizzle over your hot dog or chicken sandwich, it's important to know the healthy condiment options, as many every day sauces could be derailing your health goals.
STEAK WITH SLOW-ROASTED TOMATO & JALAPEñO KETCHUP

We’ve rounded up a list toppings you should try to avoid, or limit to a smaller serving, to save yourself excess sodium, fats and refined sugar.

You might be shocked to find many of these condiments are regulars on your shopping list, but fear not – we’ve gathered a list of healthy alternatives to keep you on track to reaching your health goals while still enjoying maximum flavour.

The bad

Sweet chilli sauce: We won’t deny it, there is no better combination than crisp spring rolls and a dollop of chilli sauce. Unfortunately the thing that makes this sweet and spicy condiment so moreish is its high sugar levels. While it’ll give you a nice energy hit, the empty calories found in sugar could be stored as excess fat and lead to weight gain.

Mayonnaise and aioli: While it’s extremely delicious and the perfect creamy addition to sandwiches, salads, and burgers, mayonnaise is loaded with excess calories. Commercial mayos are often based on refined vegetable oils which are high in dangerous hydrogenated fats. From a health perspective pick up “whole-egg” mayonnaise, as opposed to the “lite” varieties, which can have surprising amounts of sugar. Even better – make your own egg mayonnaise at home.

Swap your mayonnaise for a creamy homemade tzatziki instead.

Tartar sauce: With a similar recipe to mayonnaise, this tasty sauce that is often paired with fried fish and chips could be wreaking havoc on your weight goals. The sauce, which contains finely diced gherkins, is often high in sodium, which can lead to water retention and bloating.

Tomato sauce/ketchup: Ever wonder why the sauce smothered atop your sausage sandwich or pie is so delicious? We’ll give you a hint: The sugar. Some popular commercial tomato sauces can contain up to 25 grams of sugar per 100 grams – yikes! Watch out for tomato sauce in every day foods like baked beans too, and go for the low-sugar varieties if possible.

The good

Balsamic vinegar: With very low calories, sodium and carbohydrates, most vinegars are a fantastic healthy condiment option. Balsamic in particular is wonderfully flavoursome, making a healthy salad dressing or dip for your freshly baked sourdough. It’s even delicious with strawberries – trust us.

Hummus: This chickpea-based dip is loaded with fibre and plant-based protein, and it’s an extremely versatile addition to many foods. Use it in place of mayo on sandwiches, dip crackers in it instead of cream cheese, or mix with lemon juice as a creamy alternative to ranch dressing. It’s easy to make yourself at home, but if you’re going for a store-bought version, look for the ones with minimal ingredients and ideally made with olive oil rather than a vegetable oil.

eggplant and hummus lamb tarts

Use homemade hummus in place of melted cheese in these tasty eggplant and lamb tart.

Tzatziki: Cucumbers, low-fat Greek yoghurt, garlic and lemon juice – that’s it! This light, fresh and creamy dip is beautiful enjoyed with vegetable sticks, crackers, bread and as part of a tasting plate when entertaining guests. You can also spread it on bread in place of mayonnaise for a creamy hit without the excess fat, and enjoy a serving of protein and calcium while you’re at it.

Homemade salsa: Swap your sugar-laden tomato sauce for a homemade salsa and reap the benefits of a more nutritious condiment, while enjoying the zesty, textural flavours of fresh tomatoes, onion, avocado and corn.

Mustard: Containing almost no calories but loads of flavour, mustard is a dieter’s best friend when it comes to condiments. Mustard seeds are rich in selenium, an element known for its cancer-fighting abilities and magnesium, which assists with relieving muscle tension. For added nutrients, go for wholegrain mustard for extra fibre and texture.

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