You only use a few spoonfuls at a time, so can condiments really be doing a lot of harm to your weight loss efforts? Condiments can bring a lot of flavor to your food, but if you were to read the food label you would see that many of them could be contributing to that number on the scale. Let me tell you what condiments may be doing you damage.
- Oils (120 Calories/tbsp.)
- Butter (100 Calories/tbsp.)
- Mayonnaise (90-100 Calories/tbsp.)
- Creamy Salad Dressings (60-80 Calories/tbsp.)
- Italian and Low-fat Creamy Dressings, Low-fat Mayo (35-50 Calories/tbsp.)
- Cheeses (80-120 Calories/oz)
- Jelly (50-60 Calories/tbsp.)
- Sour cream (20-30 Calories/tbsp.)
- BBQ (20-30 Calories/tbsp.)
- Ketchup (20 Calories/tbsp.)
As you can see, these condiments can add a lot of Calories to your foods. These are the calories per tablespoon and most of us don’t stop at one tablespoon! Most of these condiments do this without filling you up or contributing a lot of substance. The bottom three on that list really are fine in moderation*, but you may not be doing moderation. As a ketchup fiend, I used to use five or more tablespoons in one meal and pile up 100 or so extra Calories. This is definitely enough to make a difference over time. Better choices** include:
- Soy Sauce (15 Calories/tbsp)
- Sugar Free Jelly (10 Calories/tbsp)
- Plain Greek Yogurt (<10 Calories/tbsp)
- Mustard (<10 Calories/tbsp)
- Hot Sauce (<10 Calories/tbsp)
- Walden Farms Salad Dressings/Ketchup (<10 Calories/tbsp)
- Horseradish (<10 Calories/tbsp)
- Pickles (<10 Calories/tbsp)
- Lemon Juice (<10 Calories/tbsp)
- Vinegar (<10 Calories/tbsp)
- Salsa (<10 Calories/tbsp)
- Cooking Sprays (<10 Calories for a quick spray)
- Most Seasonings (Garlic, Onion Powder, Pepper, Cumin, ect)
If you are trying to lose weight, I would suggest choosing mostly condiments and extras from the bottom list and small portions of the last three from the top list. You can also make a healthy ranch dressing with Greek yogurt or use Greek yogurt as a replacement for sour cream.
*Really anything is fine in moderation, but if the goal is weight loss, you will have to limit the higher Calories options even more than usual!
**These lower Calorie options may still be high in sodium, but sometimes you must pick the lesser of two evils (sodium over excessive Calories).