Condiments: The Good, the Bad and the Salty

3SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/26/2013 6:00 AM   :  38 comments   :  28,147 Views

There's no doubt about it: Americans are crazy about condiments. Whether it's ketchup, hot sauce or salsa, we just love to top our foods with zesty sauces. Unfortunately, though, those little toppings can add up to a lot of extra salt. If you had to choose between two of America's favorite condiments, ketchup and salsa, which would be the low-sodium winner?
 
The Winner: Salsa!

 
One tablespoon of veggie-packed salsa will only set you back 105 mg of sodium—that's just 4% of your recommended daily value. (Ketchup comes in slightly higher with 160 mg.) Want to slash even more sodium from your salsa? Make your own salsa at home to control exactly what goes into it!

Unfortunately, not all condiments are as easy on the salt, especially since those little dollops and spoonfuls can add up quickly! See how salsa stacks up against some other common condiments in the sodium department:
 
Condiment Calories per Tablespoon Sodium per Tablespoon
Honey Mustard Sauce 23 75 mg
Mayonnaise 90 80 mg
Salsa 8 105 mg
Pickle Relish 20 122 mg
Ranch Dressing 73 122 mg
Ketchup 20 160 mg
Mustard 9 161 mg
Barbecue Sauce 53 392 mg
Frank's Red Hot 5 460 mg
Sriracha 20 580 mg
Spicy Garlic Wing Sauce 25 600 mg
Soy Sauce 11 1005 mg
 
What's your favorite condiment? Do you watch your sodium intake?
 


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Comments

  • 38
    I use a wide variety of condiments, but with so many other things to keep track of I don't look carefully at sodium. I'm not hypertensive and although I know a low salt diet is optimal I have to choose my battles, and I don't choose that one. - 10/18/2014   12:29:05 PM
  • 37
    if you make your own salsa it doesn't require any salt. I make mine all the time. You can even use it in your salads for your topping. I haven't made any for a while but it's delicious. - 7/17/2014   8:08:54 AM
  • 36
    I stay away from soy sauce but I am going to start cheking my hot sauces now. - 2/15/2013   11:23:57 AM
  • 35
    Even though I don't "need" to watch my sodium intake (at least not yet), I keep low sodium soy sauce at my house. It's only about 2/3 the sodium content. I also don't use soy sauce very often. - 1/31/2013   2:23:46 PM
  • 34
    good article - 1/29/2013   11:18:31 AM
  • THE_LILITH
    33
    salsa is always an excellent "go to" choice. a good replacement for soy sauce is coconut aminos. only 113 mg of sodium per serving.

    you can google the nutrition label.....also, i have tried some awesome "paleo" condiment replacement recipes. i am unable to put the link here, but if you google it, they are easy to find.
    - 1/29/2013   7:17:37 AM
  • 32
    Salsa is one of the best condiments because you can make it to fit your taste and needs! It does not have to be one size fits all. - 1/28/2013   2:09:51 PM
  • 31
    I go crazy w/dipping sauces, so now I won't due to all of the salt. - 1/28/2013   10:56:18 AM
  • 30
    I love salsa and use it on many foods. I am learning to use honey mustard sauce in place of many condiments because sodium is a big issue for me (don't have high blood pressure but really don't want to develop it!) The only time I use soy sauce is on fried rice but I do use low sodium soy; it's still bad but not quite as bad! - 1/28/2013   8:17:38 AM
  • 29
    I love salsa! I limit my salt intake, & salsa helps keep bland things spicy good!
    - 1/28/2013   5:15:29 AM
  • 28
    I watch my sodium for two reasons. When I first hit a plateau of weight not coming off I started looking at my sodium and found it was very high, keeping sodium in check is now key to ditching the pounds for me. The second reason is my family history with heart disease and cholesterol issues. High (ish) blood pressure and heart disease risk are managed by watching sodium as well as eating more healthy in general. - 1/28/2013   3:25:58 AM
  • 27
    I don't track my sodium. I need to check on this. How bad is too much sodium anyway? I do good on the things sparks has me tracking. - 1/28/2013   1:36:47 AM
  • 26
    I watch sodium intake for my entire family. I just recently started substituting salsa for the barbeque sauce I use in my meatloaf. It was a hit. My son even requested it for his birthday. I have cut down on using Ranch dressing for some reason the taste just doesn't appeal to me anymore.
    Thank you for the breakdown. It shows me I have to find something else to make my eggrolls with instead of soy sauce.
    - 1/27/2013   9:56:59 PM
  • 25
    Sodium has never really been a problem with me, so I don't pay much attention to sodium levels. But even still, I'd say my favorites are honey mustard and salsa. I love salsa on baked potato. Plus, I make my own...all from fresh vegies from our garden, so not a lot of salt in it. - 1/27/2013   8:50:23 PM
  • 24
    I really like Honey Mustard...its soo good. - 1/27/2013   7:44:17 PM
  • 23
    I monitor sodium and log it in, but am still struggling to stay within range. I've cut back a lot on processed foods since joining SP but need to step up that effect. - 1/27/2013   7:14:11 PM
  • 22
    I do watch and keep track of my sodium intake. I read labels and try to get low sodium condiments. I don't add salt when cooking or at the table. - 1/27/2013   4:42:29 PM
  • 21
    I watch my sodium intake very carefully. I like to make my own salsa and
    also some of my own condiments. That way I can keep the salt to a minimum.
    I'm always looking for low sodium recipes to try. - 1/27/2013   4:42:24 PM
  • MICHIE632
    20
    My husband and I are very health conscious. We use the reduced calorie Mayonnaise and sometimes mix it with plain non-fat yogurt. Can someone tell me the caloric and sodium differences between Hellman's Real Mayonnaise and Hellman's Calorie Reduced Mayonnaise? Maybe it's time for me to make more changes. - 1/27/2013   3:55:48 PM
  • 19
    I have learned that the salt I used to eat is refined down to the thing that does the most harm to your health, that is sodium chloride. I have thrown that type salt from my pantry and am now using Himalayan Crystal Salt in my diet. Processed foods are almost all out of my diet and I cook all my meals from scratch. I have learned the health benefits of "real, unrefined salt".
    Check it out for your self here:
    www.americanbluegreen.com/index.htm
    l
    - 1/27/2013   3:47:22 PM
  • PEGGYRAE1
    18
    I make my own salsa from our own veggies and herbs from our garden...I seldom use a reciepe so is a little different each time. I love salsa and can't even eat my eggs without it! - 1/27/2013   2:34:38 PM
  • 17
    NELLIEC - Why don't you make your own salsa? It's really easy and since you control what goes in, you control exactly how spicy or milk it is. - 1/27/2013   11:31:35 AM
  • 16
    I used to love salsa, but now I can't eat it because my favorite extra mild is no longer made. - 1/27/2013   10:42:09 AM
  • 15
    you left out taco sauce! that is my favorite, but I also like sweet hot mustard to substitute for mayo. - 1/27/2013   10:03:08 AM
  • 14
    I'm not watching sodium or calories -- but I'm watching carbs. Would like to see other nutritional comparisons besides calories and sodium. - 1/27/2013   9:49:49 AM
  • 13
    That is why I love this site........we learn something new all the time. I do cook almost everything from scratch but I have not thought about things like honey mustard. Who knew???? - 1/27/2013   8:47:03 AM
  • 12
    I do watch my sodium intake. Mustard,ranch and hot sauce are my favorite sauces. Always look for the ones with the lowest sodium count. Never use a full serving of them either to help cut it down some. - 1/27/2013   8:46:59 AM
  • 11
    We go through a lot of salsa, it use to be ketchup, but with our healthier lifestyle, salsa seems to the addition of choice for flavour. - 1/27/2013   8:31:34 AM
  • SPRINGBABY80
    10
    oh wow - 1/27/2013   8:11:29 AM
  • 9
    you have to read the ingredients for honey mustard because almost all of them are really mayonnaise with mustard and honey added. mayonnaise isn't even listed on the front label and it's what you are really getting. check the ingredients and if eggs are listed... it's really mayonnaise !!!! - 1/26/2013   2:55:15 PM
  • 8
    I am tracking my sodium. Don't use a lot of condiments but I do use Salsa and prefer Honey Mustard to Ranch. Yes it's an eye opener! Thank you for this information! :))) - 1/26/2013   2:05:32 PM
  • 7
    I cut almost all processed foods from my meal plans. I love spicy foods. Use salsa, and Sriracha . I also have a Triple ginger sauce that is awesome. When I can I create my own sauces or flavoring. I really like to know what goes into the foods I eat. I might have got a late start on healthy eating, but now I have embraced it completely. The only salt I ever use is sea salt, in moderation. - 1/26/2013   2:03:45 PM
  • 6
    I wish I watched my sodium intake, but honestly it feels like one thing too many to track right now! I am comforted by the fact that we don't add salt to any of our cooking, but I know it can sneak into our food through things like canned soup, which we eat a lot of.do you know where else salt hides? Fibre cereal! True story! - 1/26/2013   11:36:28 AM
  • 5
    I know sodium is an important concern, and I do keep an eye on it a bit, but if I make that a major consideration now, I'll go stir crazy. With the diabetes, it's all I can do to try to get my carbs and blood sugar under control. Luckily, all my other tests are normal, so sodium is on the back burner now. - 1/26/2013   9:08:25 AM
  • 4
    Wow!! That was an eye-opener!! Fortunately, I only eat mustard, ranch dressing, honey mustard and low sodium soy sauce.. - 1/26/2013   8:10:48 AM
  • 3
    I have always avoided salt if possible. But processed foods have a lot of it. - 1/26/2013   7:28:02 AM
  • 2
    I am also a huge mustard fan. - 1/26/2013   6:53:24 AM
  • 1
    I do watch my sodium intake. Salsa and ketchup are two of my favorites. - 1/26/2013   6:52:29 AM

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