All the Little Ways Condiments Are Killing Your Diet

Condiments are so common, you probably have at least one ketchup package in your home right now…or a dozen. But all that mayonnaise, salad dressing, sauces and extras really add up when it comes to your daily calories. It’s time to take a hard look at all the little ways condiments are killing your diet, and start making some changes to lose more weight.

BBQ, Hoisin, Peanut Sauce

Do you like to add a little extra flavor to your meat? BBQ sauce seems harmless enough, but it’s packed with sugar, salt and ingredients like honey or molasses. All of it can add up. One tablespoon of BBQ can add, roughly, 30 calories to your day. That’s just one tablespoon. How much BBQ do you like to use? Hoisin and peanut sauce, popular with Asian cuisine, are even higher in calories. At one tablespoon, these sauces are approximately 35 and 45 calories per serving.

Mayo, Tartar, Horseradish

Who doesn’t like to add a little kick to their sandwiches with extras like mayonnaise, tartar sauce or horseradish sauce? You may not like it so much when you learn that a single tablespoon of mayonnaise can add about 95 calories to anything you’re eating. Take a look at a tablespoon of mayo some time, and you’ll see what a small amount this really is. Meanwhile, tartar sauce is about 30 calories per tablespoon, and horseradish is as much as 50 calories per tablespoon.


You knew it would be on the list, yet you wanted to hope it wouldn’t. Ketchup is the most ubiquitous of all condiments, and many regard it as a fridge essential. As condiments go, ketchup is lower in calories than most. However, it’s still approximately 20 calories per tablespoon. So if you’re one of those people who like to drench everything with ketchup, you’re packing in a huge amount of extra calories with every meal.

Smart Substitutes

Start paying attention to the condiments you use, and how much of them you’re adding to your food. Always remember to include your condiments when you’re counting calories. When you can, make smart substitutions. Salsa is very low in calories and full of flavor. A tablespoon of salsa is about 5 calories. Many kinds of hot sauce and chili sauce are very low in calories as well, to the tune of about 5 calories for every tablespoon. Mustard has about half the calories of ketchup. You can add a tablespoon of mustard to anything for about 10 calories only.

Don’t let condiments kill your diet. Pay attention to how many extra calories you’re adding, and make smart swaps so you can add flavor instead of fat to your meals. All those little extra calories add up. Start subtracting them from your diet, and you’ll start losing more weight.

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