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How Healthy Are the Most Popular Condiments?

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A good majority of people use condiments religiously without much thought of what’s in them. Ketchup, vinegar, and hot sauces permanently adorn many restaurant table tops, and it’s fairly standard to cook with different condiments or have them ready to add at both restaurants and in your own home. But many of the most popular condiments don’t have much—if any—health benefits and are actually bad for you, contributing to or worsening medical conditions like high blood pressure and obesity. Whether you dress up your burger with all the standard fixings, always use a dip on the side, or slather foods in several condiments, you might want to cut back on a few of these favorites after learning how unhealthy they can be…

1. Ketchup

Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments out there and has been for a very long time. It’s rare to find someone who doesn’t use or pretty much require ketchup on everything, whether it’s their burgers, fries, eggs, sausages, hash browns, chicken fingers…the possibilities are vast. Unfortunately, like many popular foods ketchup’s popularity is not due to its high nutritional value. (And no, the fact that tomatoes are an ingredient doesn’t make it healthy).

Ketchup isn’t high in carbs or calories, but it does have a somewhat alarmingly high amount of sodium and high fructose corn syrup when you consider the small serving size. Plus, the salt content can contribute to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases in the future. As for the high fructose corn syrup, an amount in each serving means you’ll be eating several grams of sugar (possibly more than 10, depending on how much you use) each time you eat it. Your best bet is to either cut back on how much you use and purchase a low sodium brand, replace it with fresh tomatoes, or make your own tomato topping to control what goes in it.

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