Condiments: Little Foods with a Big Impact

If you aren’t losing as much weight as you’d like, or are trying to banish those last few stubborn pounds, it may be time to take a much closer look at what you’re eating. Liquid calories are a common culprit. Another is condiments. Depending on how you top your salads, burgers, and other foods, you could be eating hundreds of extra calories that you aren’t even aware of.

Some of the condiments you should limit or avoid include:
• Ketchup – most ketchup has incredibly large amounts of sugar and lots of calories.
• Mayonnaise – its high fat content raises its caloric content too high.
• Most salad dressings – most store-bought salad dressings, whether creamy or vinaigrette types, are swimming in fat.
• Queso – besides its high fat content, many store-bought and restaurant quesos are loaded with questionable preservatives and other chemicals best avoided.
• Fake honey – if you want honey, which offers impressive health benefits, make sure you’re getting the real thing; many brands’ offerings aren’t.
Instead of these common offenders, try:
• Plain mustard – tangy, sweet, and sugar free, plain mustard has lost of antioxidants, usually contains cancer-fighting turmeric, and is very low in calories.
• Salsa – authentic salsa is simply chopped vegetables mixed with herbs, and there’s really no way to go wrong with this.
• Pesto – makes a great substitute for cheese, pizza sauce, creamy pasta sauces, and more.
• Guacamole – avocados are high in healthy fats and guacamole is filling and delicious. Use it instead of mayonnaise or salad dressing, or use it as a dip for cut-up veggies.
• Hummus – it’s easy to make your own; all you need is chickpeas, garlic, tahini, and a splash of lemon juice.

Remember that as you lose weight, you need to adjust your calorie intake accordingly to keep losing weight. That’s where details like condiments really start to matter the most. And there are lots of little tricks you can learn to make healthier foods so delicious you’ll never miss their higher-calorie counterparts. Try unexpected combinations such as mixing tuna fish with avocado instead of mayo, topping hot dogs with salsa instead of chili, or keeping pesto in the freezer for a quick pasta dinner on a busy weeknight.

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