Imagine life in ancient Europe, before the spice trade. How bland food must have been. We’ve come a long way since, and today we can enjoy the flavor range of the entire globe with a simple visit to the grocery store. Nowhere is this more evident than the condiments aisle, where sauces and dressings with exquisite names and bottles invite us to sample their gastronomic benefits.
How to choose tasty and healthy? Here are some tips that we hope can help:
- Condiments are usually packed with flavor and thus used in tiny portions. Make sure you know the serving size suggested on the label compared to what you normally consume. 2 Tbsp of sauce is the amount that would fit into a ping-pong ball.
- When choosing salad dressing, choose one with 3-5 grams of fat. Opt for see through choices like vinaigrette. A little fat in your salad dressing helps absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. Creamy dressings tend to be higher in saturated (unhealthy) fat and calories, so try to stay away from them.
- Use mustard instead of ketchup or mayo to reduce calories and fat. Reminder: Ketchup is 30% sugar, and mayo is a combo of oil and raw eggs.
- As always, shorter ingredient lists usually make better choices. Many condiments can be filled with artificial flavors, coloring, additives and preservatives.
- Some condiments tend to run very high in the sodium department. Especially when considering their small serving size. Spice mixes are a great way to liven up rice, pasta, and soups within pouring on the sodium.
- Pickles tend to be extremely high in sodium. Buy the smaller kind or the pickle slices so you don’t over-consume.
What are some of your favorite condiments? How do you use them in your kitchen?