Condiments: Harmless or the new silent killer?

22 September 2014
Category diet, Uncategorized
22 September 2014, Comments 0
Where's the label on that ketchup bottle??

Where’s the label on that ketchup bottle??

Condiments are a regular in our diets. They add flavour to our favourite dishes and sometimes (or often,  depending on your taste) we go crazy with them. Wether it’s ketchup in our fries, or mayo in our onion rings, or steak sauce in our steak, a condiment will always be there to add an extra kick of flavour in our food. We know what a condiment tastes like, but do we really know what we’re actually eating? Do we even know what a true serving size is?

Lucky for you, I’ve been curious myself since I do indulge in the occasional condiment from time to time. My favourite? Tonkatsu Sauce. For our first anniversary, my then girlfriend and future wife gave me a whole tub of it. Back then they were still hard to find, and I used that thing for everything.Well, do you know that 1 serving of that has 370mg of sodium? That’s a lot right? Here’s a list of the other common (and not so common) condiments that we can find in a supermarket and some important facts about them:


Serving size: 1 Table Spoon which has:

  • 19 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0 grams of protein
  • 4 grams of sugar
  • 190mg of sodium

If you look at it like that, it might not seem like much but think about how you mindlessly eat ketchup with your fries and burgers and hotdogs and eggs, and anything else. Yeah, we usually eat more than that 1 Tablespoon serving as well. More than what the nutritional table shows you, ketchup also has high fructose corn syrup which is a sugar substitute that has been linked with obesity and heart diseases.


Serving size: 1 Table Spoon which has:

  • 94 calories
  • 10 grams of fat (6 grams polyunsaturated)
  • 6 mg cholesterol
  • 88 mg sodium
  • 100mg protein
  • 200 mg sugar
  • 100 mg carbohydrates

Obviously you’re getting a lot more calories from mayo than ketchup when you put them serving to serving. Think about that the next time you order a salad to stay lean but go with the thousand island dressing. Yeah, that’s counterproductive.

Honey Mustard

Serving size: 2 Ounces which has:

  • 80 calories
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 310 mg sodium
  • 1 gram protein
  • 13 grams sugar
  • 17 grams carbohydrates

Check out the difference between honey mustard and regular mustard below. Yeah, that’s a whole lot of difference. So make the better choice.


Serving size: 1 Table Spoon which has:

  • 4 calories
  • 0.2 grams of fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 55 mg sodium
  • 0.2 grams protein
  • 0 grams sugar
  • 0 grams carbohydrates

Tabasco Sauce

Serving size: 1 Teaspoon which has

  • 1 calorie
  • 0.04 grams of fat
  • o mg cholesterol
  • 30 mg sodium
  • 0.06 grams protein
  • 0.04 grams carbohydrates

I love spicy food and if anything is lacking flavour, this is my go to condiment along with fresh chilli. As you can see, there’s not much to be concerned here unless you take an exaggerated amount of chilli that your digestive tract starts to suffer.


Serving size: 1 Table Spoon which has:

  • 4 calories
  • 0.03 grams of fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 96 mg sodium
  • 0.25 grams protein
  • 0.49 grams sugar
  • 1 gram carbohydrates

When it comes to dips for your chips, I choose salsa over sour cream which you’ll see right below as you can see with the numbers. Especially if you make your own salsa, that way you can decrease the sodium and control what you put into it.

Sour Cream Dip

Serving size: 1 Table Spoon which has:

  • 34 calories
  • 3 grams of fat
  • 6 mg cholesterol
  • 103 mg sodium
  • 0.53 grams protein
  • 0.26 grams sugar
  • 1.31 grams carbohydrates

Steak Sauce

Serving size: 1 Table Spoon which has:

  • 15 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 280 mg sodium
  • 0 grams protein
  • 2 grams sugar
  • 3 grams carbohydrates

Steak Sauce is one of my favourite condiments. Unfortunately, even if it doesn’t have too much calories, there is a lot of sodium per serving of steak sauce. And you don’t really just stop at 1 tablespoon right?

Soy Sauce

Serving size: 1 Table Spoon which has:

  • 9 calories
  • 0.1 gram of fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 879 mg sodium
  • 1.3 grams protein
  • 0.1 gram sugar
  • 0.8 grams carbohydrates

If you stop reading at calories, you’ll think soy sauce is a good condiment but take a look at how much sodium there is in soy sauce. Excess Sodium of course causes water retention and has been linked to high blood pressure.

Fish Sauce (Patis)

Servings size: 1 Table Spoon which has:

  • 6 calories
  • 1,413 mg of sodium (!!!)
  • 0.7 grams of sugar
  • 0.7 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0.9 grams of protein
  • 0 grams of fat

If you thought soy sauce was bad, the other staple of Filipino condiments, patis, is even worse. That’s 1,413 mg of sodium in a single Table spoon. And we use it for our fish, bulalo, etc. Yikes.


Serving size: 1 Table spoon which has:

  • 3 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of protein
  • 0 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 mg of sodium FOR 100 GRAMS (6 servings)

I think we found the winner for the staple Philippine condiment. Just add chilli and fine, a dash of soy sauce so we can enjoy our crispy pata.

Teriyaki Sauce

Serving size: 1 Table Spoon which has:

  • 15 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 690 mg sodium
  • 1.07 grams protein
  • 2.35 grams sugar
  • 2.87 grams carbohydrates

Jumping from basic soy sauce, we’ll see how teriyaki sauce is similar but because it’s sweeter, you get more sugar and carbs. Although it’s technically not a condiment, better watch out next time you go to the eat all you can mongolian BBQ.

Chicken Gravy

Servings size: 1 cup (though I hope we don’t consume 1 cup per sitting) which has:

  • 188 calories
  • 14 grams of fat
  • 5 mg cholesterol
  • 1008 mg sodium
  • 13 grams carbohydrates
  • 4.6 grams protein

I hope we remember this the next time we eat chicken at a place which offers unlimited gravy. Remember guys, not everything that’s free is good.

Those are just some of the condiments that you might see on your tables or being provided at restaurants. I hope this helps you realise just how much extra we are consuming by taking these condiments and when we do take them, at least we now know when to stop. Remember: sound nutritional knowledge does not always mean sound nutritional practice. So try to practice portion control especially with these condiments.

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