Ketchup and mayonnaise are the quintessential condiments of many a fast food meals. They are also found in almost every household fridge across the nation. A Fooducate community member recently asked us which is healthier. A tough question, as neither is to be viewed as a healthy food.
A serving of ketchup is one tablespoon. It is only 15 calories, but all of them are from sugars! There are no fats and no proteins. Ketchup is also surprisingly high in sodium, with 190 milligrams (about 10% of the daily maximum). The one redeeming value of ketchup is that it is made from tomatoes, and thus has some nutrients, especially lycopene antioxidants.
A serving of mayonnaise is also one tablespoon. It has 90 calories, 6 times the amount in ketchup. All the calories are from fat, 9 grams to be precise. There are no proteins and no carbs. Mayo has about half the amount of sodium as ketchup.
So which is healthier?
The right question should be “which is less unhealthy?”. If you are watching your weight, mayo is a dangerous calorie delivery mechanism. On the other hand, ketchup helps maintain a sugar addiction, and is easy to over-consume.
Our suggestion – choose your (favorite) evil; just make it as small as possible.