While a little bit of sauce in moderation on a cheat day may be ok, sauces and condiments can be diet killers.
It’s so easy to feel like you’re eating healthy when you pour that dressing onto your salad or when you add a little mayo to your steamed chicken breast, yet these little helpings of deliciousness are loaded with calories and saturated fats.
Here are 5 sauces and condiments that may be sabotaging your diet:
Mmmm…Mayonnaise! Mayo is absolutely delicious and it can make almost anything taste better. But you should know that mayo is also just a mix of oil, vinegar and egg yolk – it’s packed full of saturated fat and calories.
Mayo contains around 100 calories per tablespoon, and the calories are 100% from fat. Just a 2 spoonfuls of mayo is the equivalent to eating a small glazed donut, and fills 30% of your recommended daily fat intake. If you need a creamy condiment in your sandwich or salad without sacrificing your waist line, try Greek yogurt instead.
2. Ranch Dressing
Another deliciously creamy treat – ranch dressing turns otherwise healthy salads into a dieter’s worst nightmare. Eating a caesar salad with a healthy coating of ranch dressing can be the caloric equivalent of eating a Big Mac – and that’s not an exaggeration. A McDonald’s Big Mac has 590 calories, with 306 of those calories coming from fat. A spoonful of Kraft Ranch Dressing comes with 148 calories per serving – all but 8 of those calories from fat! It takes just 4 servings of your standard Kraft Ranch Dressing to exceed the caloric punch of a Big Mac.
3. Italian Dressing
Italian dressing may be even a worse diet killer than ranch dressing. At least most of us know that ranch dressing is packed full of calories – but a lot of dieters consider Italian dressing a “healthy” choice. While there may be low calorie Italian dressings out there, most Italian dressings are laden with calories, saturated fat, and even sugar. If you want an authentic Italian dressing that won’t derail your diet, consider a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead of your store bought Italian dressing.
Ah, butter. Butter is a staple of the American breakfast. If you enjoy toast and scrambled eggs in the morning, then chances are that you spread butter on your toast and maybe another tablespoon of butter in your scrambled eggs. Just these two tablespoons of butter alone will add 200 calories to your breakfast, again the equivalent of having a small glazed donut alongside your whole grain slice of toast and scrambled eggs. Butter is also heavy in saturated fat, which can cause your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels to rise.
Ketchup is another western diet stable. With just a quick glance at the nutritional label, ketchup doesn’t seem that bad – after all, it’s made from tomatoes and it only has 15 calories per 1 tablespoon serving, and no fat. The problem with most store-bought ketchups is that it gets slopped onto everything, and it has a high sodium and sugar content. Just one tablespoon of Heinz ketchup has 7% of your daily sodium intake, along with 3.4 grams of sugar.
If you really love ketchup, learn to make your own homemade ketchup out of fresh tomatoes. It’ll taste better, and you’ll get all the nutritional benefits of tomatoes, without the added sodium and sugar. If you’re not interested in making your own ketchup, look for organic ketchups that have a low salt/sugar content.