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Condiments add flavor--but watch the salt: a dash of sauce gives even plain meals some "zing.".

Adding condiments to a meal may seem like an afterthought, but those little squirts and spoonfuls of flavor can add a lot of taste. Condiments can turn a boring sandwich, burger, or soup into a culinary delight. Nutritionally speaking, however, most don't bring much to a meal, except for a few negatives-notably, sodium and calories.

Mayonnaise, made with eggs and oil, is higher in calories and fat than other condiments. Ketchup and barbecue sauce are much lower in calories and fat than mayonnaise, but they contain much more sodium and, in some cases, more sugar. Mustard is the all-star of the group: Typically, it contains no more than five calories per serving, is fat-free, and is low in sodium.

Helpful Hints

Enjoy the flavors condiments bring to your meals, but consider these tips to keep nutrition in check.

* Don't overdo it. A little is great, but too much of a good thing could gain you an overload of calories, fat, sodium, and/or sugar--all in a very tiny package. The suggested serving size is 1 teaspoon for mustard, 1 tablespoon for ketchup and mayo, and 2 tablespoons for barbecue sauce.

* Go combo. To get all the flavor but a little less fat, sugar, and sodium, try mixing condiments half and half: For example, cutting your mayo with half barbecue sauce, ketchup, or mustard will slash your fat and calories but still provide lots of creamy flavor.

* Reduce Fat. Reduced-fat versions of mayonnaise offer lower-calorie alternatives to traditional blends. The biggest trade-off with reduced-fat, and especially fat-free formulations, is a longer ingredients list with more preservatives and fillers. Most of the mayo picks on our list are reduced-fat; these options create a good balance of lower calories and fat, with fewer extra ingredients than you might typically find in fat-free versions.

* Consider alternatives. Instead of mayo, mustard, or salad dressings, try a drizzle of oil and vinegar, or sprinkle on garlic powder, oregano, pepper, or a no-salt seasoning blend. Adding fresh vegetables, such as tomato, cucumber, peppers, or even fruits (apple or pear slices) will give your sandwich a flavor boost.

Want Asian Flair Instead?

A premade sauce or condiment is a quick way to add an Asian touch to your food, but read the nutrition labels before making your choice--most of these sauces are high in salt or sugar. For example, duck sauce and hot mustard have 100 milligrams (mg) of sodium per tablespoon, while hoisin sauce has 250 mg of sodium, and soy sauce has as much as 1,000 mg. Choose a low-sodium soy sauce, and don't add additional salt.

SUPERMARKET SLEUTH: CONDIMENTS             SERVING   CALORIES
                                            SIZE

KETCHUP

365 Tomato Ketchup                         1 Tbsp       20
Heinz No Salt Added Tomato Ketchup         1 Tbsp       20
Heinz Sriracha Tomato Ketchup              1 Tbsp       20

MUSTARD

365 Organic Yellow Mustard                  1 tsp       0
Annie's Naturals Organic Dijon Mustard      1 tsp       5
French's Spicy Brown Mustard                1 tsp       5
Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard                   1 tsp       5
Trader Joe's Deli Style                     1 tsp       5
Spicy Brown Mustard

MAYONNAISE

365 Organic Light Mayonnaise               1 Tbsp       50
Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil (Reduced Fat)    1 Tbsp       35
Trader Joe's Reduced Fat Mayo Dressing     1 Tbsp       35

BARBECUE SAUCE

365 Organic Memphis Madness                2 Tbsp       40
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Roasted Garlic Honey    2 Tbsp       25

SUPERMARKET SLEUTH: CONDIMENTS              TOTAL      SAT
                                           FAT (G)   FAT (G)

KETCHUP

365 Tomato Ketchup                            0         0
Heinz No Salt Added Tomato Ketchup            0         0
Heinz Sriracha Tomato Ketchup                 0         0

MUSTARD

365 Organic Yellow Mustard                    0         0
Annie's Naturals Organic Dijon Mustard        0         0
French's Spicy Brown Mustard                  0         0
Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard                     0         0
Trader Joe's Deli Style                       0         0
Spicy Brown Mustard

MAYONNAISE

365 Organic Light Mayonnaise                  5         0
Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil (Reduced Fat)       3         0
Trader Joe's Reduced Fat Mayo Dressing       3.5        0

BARBECUE SAUCE

365 Organic Memphis Madness                   0         0
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Roasted Garlic Honey       0         0

SUPERMARKET SLEUTH: CONDIMENTS             CARBS   SODIUM   SUGAR
                                            (G)     (G)      (G)

KETCHUP

365 Tomato Ketchup                           5      160       4
Heinz No Salt Added Tomato Ketchup           5       5        4
Heinz Sriracha Tomato Ketchup                5      160       4

MUSTARD

365 Organic Yellow Mustard                   1       55       0
Annie's Naturals Organic Dijon Mustard       1      120       0
French's Spicy Brown Mustard                 0       80       0
Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard                    0      120       0
Trader Joe's Deli Style                      1       60       0
Spicy Brown Mustard

MAYONNAISE

365 Organic Light Mayonnaise                 2      110      >1
Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil (Reduced Fat)      1       95       1
Trader Joe's Reduced Fat Mayo Dressing       1      105       0

BARBECUE SAUCE

365 Organic Memphis Madness                 10      150       8
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Roasted Garlic Honey      6      154       5

Note: c=cup, g=gram, mg=milllgram, sat fat=saturated fat,
carb=carbohydrates, DV=Daily Value, Daily requirement based
on 2,000 calorie/day diet. Source: food labels and company
websites. As with all WNC comparisons, this is only a
sampling of products. Products listed in alphabetical
order.
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Title Annotation:SUPERMARKET SLEUTH
Publication:Women's Nutrition Connection
Date:Feb 1, 2017
Words:813
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