In the past several years, healthy food has taken over the rafters at stores. With the expansion of healthy food and healthy lifestyle, we are slowly, but steady, realizing what we have been eating. And it is not good. In fact, one could say that we have been eating awfully.
When you think of condiments, you think of food enhancers. But the fact of the matter is that condiments are not real food. They are just a blend of chemicals engineered to improve the taste of food, induce cravings, and to be fair, make money for companies. On the other hand, you get little to zero healthy nutrients.
Store-bought condiments are loaded with sugar, dyes, flavor enhancers, salt, preservatives, additives, and many other genetically engineered ingredients. All of these should be avoided. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the most harmful condiments you should remove from your shelves.
America’s favorite condiment is loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients. Think about this for a moment. One tablespoon of ketchup, or the standard we put in our dishes comes with 4g of sugar. The daily limit of fructose is 25g or less. And with ketchup only, you get 1/6 of that amount.
Now, giving up ketchup would be crazy, especially when you think of those tasty burgers and hot sandwiches. What you can do is prepare homemade ketchup, which is healthy, and contains vitamins, minerals, and good nutrients in general.
For the homemade ketchup, you need 1 cup organic tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 pinch of cinnamon, ground clove, ground mustard, and cayenne pepper.
Bring the tomato sauce to boil, reduce heat to let the evaporation make the sauce thicker, and then whisk in vinegar, sugar, and spices. Simmer for five minutes max, and then let it cool. You can store it in the fridge in air-tight container. Just make sure to eat it within 2 weeks.
In the past few years, agave nectar has earned a reputation for being a “healthy” substitute for honey. The reality is that agave nectar is processed, and with that, stripped of any healthy nutrients. What you probably do not know is that agave nectar actually contains more fructose than high-fructose corn syrup. It is much better to switch back to honey.
Ketchup and mayo are the two most commonly used condiments around the world. There are many brands that produce mayonnaise, but no matter the brand, it is not a healthy condiment. Mayo is rich in refined and processed vegetable oils.
One tablespoon of mayo brings about 90 calories, or 4.5% of your daily intake in a single tablespoon. And that tablespoon contains 10g of fat, 1.5g of saturated fat, and much more compounds you should avoid.
If you cannot eliminate mayo, think about an alternative. One such alternative is avocado oil mayonnaise, made with avocado oil, organic beet vinegar, sea salt, rosemary extract, and free-range eggs.
When you think of Asian cuisine, you just cannot avoid soy sauce. Or can you? The fact of the matter is that soy has sodium and soy, two ingredients that disrupt your digestion and hormones.
Soy sauce also contains chloropropanols, chemicals that are known as dangerous to the human body. Most commercially produced soy sauces contain these harmful chemicals. Another toxic ingredient found in the sauce is furanones, components that cause DNA damage in lab tests and have been linked with Parkinson’s.
If you want to find a healthy alternative, go for coconut aminos. This is a soy-free option that can literally substitute soy sauce in any Asian dish. They are unprocessed which means they do not contain any added sugar.
Sour cream is a non-organic dairy product. Almost all of the non-organic dairy products contain genetically engineered growth hormones. And as you might assume, they are dangerous. These hormones, called RBGH, are the largest selling dairy animal drug in America. The drug, however, is banned in Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and in 27 countries of the European Union.
RBGH increases the risk for breast cancer. But if you are looking for an alternative, there are many. For starters, you can use yogurt, but there are many other options.
Some people just cannot live without sweet relish. But the problem with store-bought relish is that you get a lot of preservatives, sugars, and artificial colors. And almost no healthy ingredients. Therefore, look at healthy options like homemade relish recipes. That way you actually consume cucumbers, onions, and other veggies mixed in a sauce.
“Light” Salad dressings
A general rule of thumb is never believe in something labeled as “light”. That applies for salad dressings, beverages, and everything else. When you purchase “light” salad dressing, you are actually replacing the fat with sugar. What have you done? Nothing. You can even say that the light salad dressing is more harmful than the normal salad dressing. We all know that sugar makes you fat, not fat. Instead of purchasing light salad dressing, make your own vinaigrette. There are countless of recipes for healthy and homemade dressings.
BBQ and Steak Sauce
Like many of the other condiments on the list, these two sauces contain a mixture of unsavory ingredients. For example, some of the ingredients you will find in these sauces include corn syrup, tomato puree, distilled vinegar, caramel color, potassium sorbate, and much more. In most cases, meat sauces contain agents and dyes you should not digest. As always, the recommendation is to make your own barbeque sauce.
This is the top selling dressing for the past 20+ years in the USA. And while people adore it, you get nothing out of it. Ranch dressing contains zero vitamins, and just 1% of your daily calcium intake. On the other hand, half a cup of the dressing increases your calorie intake by 600. That being said, the next time you want to eat some pizza and French fries with ranch dressing, think again.
A good alternative is olive oil and vinegar salad dressing. For this dressing, you need a teaspoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of vinegar, be it white, apple cider, or balsamic. Add some minced garlic and fresh herbs, and you have yourself a homemade dressing that is perfect.
When it comes to brunches, pancakes are a staple at the table. And pancake syrup is one of the favorite toppings. However, most of the ingredients you will see at the maple syrup are just different forms of sugar. Therefore, it is a much better option to stick to organic maple syrup, one that you can make without added sugars.