Are Condiments Killing Your Diet?

Condiments: The colorful, delicious, flavorful add ons that bring so much life to any dish.

Okay, so that may not be the true definition of condiments, but it sure does sum up how I feel about them!  Condiments can quickly turn a sad meal happy with just a few dips, drizzles or a thin spread.

Some of my own favorite condiments include: Any kind of Ranch dressing, Ketchup mixed with Ranch dressing (my own little concoction), Honey Mustard and uhmm uhmm good Chick Fil A Polynesian Sauce (special thanks to my husband for helping me to see how my life was incomplete before Polynesian Sauce).

Dipping into our favorite sauce can be so rewarding to our taste buds…unfortunately, it can also be very damaging to our goals if we aren’t careful.

Think about it: How often do you consider the condiment nutrition with your meals? If you use calorie counting apps like My Fitness Pal or Spark People, do you enter your condiments into your totals? Do you consider the ketchup you used for your roasted potatoes or the salad dressing that was drizzled all over your “healthy” salad?

If you’ve been keeping a close eye on your intake but are struggling to lose fat, it could very well be due to unaccounted for condiment calories. Could they really be sabotaging your progress? I know that they seem so little in the grand scheme of things but I’m about to show you just how much power those little flavor poppers pack.

Let’s take a look at the macros for some common sauces and spreads:

Hidden Valley, The Original Ranch (2 tbsp): 140 Calories, 14g Fat, 2.5g Sat Fat,  2g Carbs

Newman’s Own Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 tbsp): 130 Calories, 14g Fat, 2g Sat Fat, 0 Carbs

Newman’s Own Organic Balsamic Vinegar (1 tbsp): 20 Calories, 0g Fat, 0g Sat Fat, 5g Carbs

Heinz Ketchup (1tbsp): 20 Calories, 0g Fat, 0g Sat Fat, 5g Carbs

Kraft Olive Oil Mayo (1 tbsp): 50 Calories, 5g Fat, 0.5g Sat Fat, 1g Carbs

Chick fil A Polynesian Sauce (1 container):  110 Calories, 6g Fat, 2.5g Sat Fat, 13g Carbs

Chick fil A- Chick fil A Sauce (1 container): 140 Calories, 13g Fat,  2g Sat Fat,  6g Carbs

Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue Sauce (2 tbsp): 70 Calories, 0g Fat, 0 Sat Fat, 18g Carbs

Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard (1 tsp): 5 Calories, 0g Fat, 0g Sat Fat, 0g Carbs

Wishbone Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing (2 tbsp): 150 Calories, 14g Fat, 2.5g Sat Fat, 1g Carbs

So, for someone who may be on a 2,000 cal “diet”, you can see that 2-3 condiments throughout the day can quickly add up and account for a large portion of their daily intake; 200-400 calories easily. And to be honest, most people use way above the listed serving sizes. If you only account for 1900 calories of “actual” food but not the extra 300 in condiments, it’s clear how fat loss could be stalled.

Not to mention, many condiments are packed with large amounts of fat, and while fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, we should be mindful of overeating them, especially when attempting to lose fat and live an overall healthy lifestyle. It is recommended that fat only account for about 25-35% of our total caloric intake. On a 2000 cal diet, that is roughly 56-89g per day. If you’re condiments alone are adding up to 30-40g, that doesn’t leave much room for your actual food.

So, let me know in the comments, what are some of your favorite condiments?

Task: Consider taking a couple days this week to track your condiment intake. Does it surprise you?  Could it be stalling your fat loss? Could it be attributing to “overeating”, i.e., a calorie surplus & weight gain?

Blessings in Health & Fitness,

Lakeshia Momon, CPT



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