Not all condiments are evil?

File this under the “I never really looked at that” tab. This is one of those things you notice when you start paying more attention to what you eat. This however is a good one rather than an “oh my god i ate what???”

Sauces like ketchup and barbecue sauce has always been portrayed as being sugar laden. I was kinda surprised when I looked at the label. And Mayo is pure fat right?

Ketchup (mine is Food Lion brand, I would think other brands would be similar if not identical) has a serving size of 1 tablespoon (17g). It has only 15 calories per serving! And it has zero fat. It had 4 grams of carbohydrates and yes, all 4 grams are from sugar, but that’s only 1% of your RDA.

Barbecue sauce (mine is Bullseye Original, again I think most would be similar) has a 2 tablespoon serving size (36g) and has 50 calories per serving. It also has 0 fat. Now this recipe of barbecue sauce uses molasses, and it is a “sweet” sauce in the Kansas City Style. It contains 13 g carbs (4% of RDA) and 11 g sugar. But two tablespoons is a pretty big dollop, and I probably put about that much (or less) on the grilled chicken I just made, and it’s still only 50 Cal.

Mayo on the other hand, by comparison has a 1 tablespoon serving (14g, note slightly smaller than the ketchup serving) and 100 calories per serving and 100 calories from fat. Mayo is evil.. it’s like squirting lard in your mouth right? That’s what some health books would have you believe but now that I look at the label I’m not so sure. Am I saying Mayo is healthy? No, but out of the 11 grams of fat (17% RDA) only 1.5 of it is saturated fat. It doesn’t give the Mono or Poly Unsat levels on this label, but the ingredients are soybean oil and eggs. Soybeans and eggs contain good fat profiles. Should you eat a whole jar? of course not.. but a thin spread on a ham sandwich is not going to kill you. Of course I would still watch out for mayo at places like McDonald’s (not that you would eat there on a diet anyway) because if its oozing out the sides when you take a bite its way too much.

The ketchup really blew me away.. only 15 calories? That’s the equivalent of a (non-sugar free) stick of gum. So add a little flavor to your meals without being afraid of blowing your diet. It helps somewhat bland food like skinless grilled chicken taste great and still be very low-fat.

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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.