The 6 Best and 6 Worst Condiments for You

The 6 Best and 6 Worst Condiments for You
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The 6 Best and 6 Worst Condiments for You

Read on to discover which sauces and condiments are the best and worst for you!

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The Best

Just based on calorie counts alone, these condiments are the ones you shouldn't feel guilty about.

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One tablespoon of pickle relish comes in at 20 calories per tablespoon. So if you prefer this topper for your hot dogs, you're in luck! This condiment comes in on the lower end of the calorie spectrum.

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The traditionally popular ketchup probably won't affect your waistline at 19 calories per tablespoon. Also, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, that amount of ketchup contains 2.9 mg of lycopene, a phytochemical that can potentially help lower the risk of cancer.

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Soy Sauce

If you love dipping your California rolls in soy sauce, you're in luck. This sushi condiment is a mere 9 calories per tablespoon. (However, there have been debates over whether the sodium content in soy sauce is good for you, so opt for a low-sodium version if you can, and eat it in moderation!)

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There's nothing quite like pairing a roast beef sandwich with horseradish sauce. Luckily, one tablespoon is just 7 calories. It's also been reported that the compounds in the horseradish plant can detox your body and suppress tumor growth.

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Another classic condiment, mustard has only 3 calories per tablespoon. While it can also be high in sodium like soy sauce, eating it in moderation can have some benefits. Yellow mustard contains nutrients that can help digestive health and build strong teeth and bones.

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Hot Sauce

Hot sauce for the win! This increasingly popular topping clocks in at 0 calories. Yes, you read that correctly! Not only that, but it's also been said to curb your appetite. (There are some fun ways to use it in your cooking too.)

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The Worst

Also based on calorie counts, these are the condiments you may want to eat in moderation.

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Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce comes in at 29 calories per tablespoon, which isn't outrageous, but that amount has 6 grams of sugar. Since you're likely to use more than just one tablespoon, particularly if you're using it to rub down your ribs, you may want to be careful how often you indulge in this sauce.

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Tartar Sauce

Commonly paired with fried fish and chips or served with crab cakes, tartar sauce comes in at 31.5 calories per tablespoon. But if you want to make it healthier, you could always substitute yogurt in your homemade version!

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Hoisin Sauce

This thick sauce commonly used in Asian cuisine is 35 calories per tablespoon. Like soy sauce, it contains a lot of sodium (but doesn't have the low calorie count that soy sauce does), so you may want to limit your intake.

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Ranch Dressing

Climbing up the calorie ladder, this popular veggie dip has 73 calories per tablespoon. One serving (two tablespoons) has 15 grams of fat, so if you're one of those people who likes to dip their pizza in ranch, you may want to reign it in.

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Worse than ranch is tahini at 89 calories per tablespoon. It pairs well with falafel, but it has 16 grams of fat per serving and it can be easy to go overboard with, so beware of how much you're pouring on your pita!

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Mayonnaise may have taken the lead as America's favorite condiment, but that doesn't mean you should necessarily follow the trend! The condiment has a whopping 94 calories per tablespoon. It's also full of saturated fat and cholesterol.

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Ever wonder which condiments have the most calories, or which you don't have to feel guilty about eating more than one serving of? What's better for your waistline: ketchup or mustard? We took a look at the calorie counts of some popular condiments based on numbers provided by the USDA, and separated them out into the best and worst for you. You may be surprised to discover which meal toppers are lighter than others.

Check out the slideshow above to discover the 6 best and 6 worst condiments for you when it comes to calories.

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