Nearly every burger consumed all around the world comes with your standard lettuce, tomato, onion and ketchup. Sure, there's the gourmet burgers out there now that have that added extra of house-made sauces, specialty spreads and heavens knows what else, right?!
Condiments are hidden calories that can definitely add up over time. However, when looking at total calorie content, ketchup and mustard are still very low on the totem pole.
While mustard is still the lowest calorie option, ketchup comes in at a close second. The issue lies in the sugar content variation. When purchasing store brought brands, ketchup can be loaded with added sugars that impart extra sweetness which makes many crave and consume more than the recommended serving of one tablespoon.
One recommendation is to ditch the store bought brands and make your own. There are a plethora of simple, super healthy recipes on the web from registered dietitians that have great flavor without the added sugar. Plus, when making your own, you can control the sodium and really tailor its flavor to your own taste preferences. For instance, kick it up a notch and infuse with a little garlic or other super spices like cayenne to push your metabolism into over drive.
Bottom Line: Ketchup is not something to fear. Compared to other high calorie, high fat condiments available today, it's a better alternative for your burger, hot dog and fries. Be mindful of portion control and limit yourself to one or two packets, dumping piles on your fries will end up costing you nearly 150 extra calories for your entire burger and fry combo. The better option? whip up your own tomato ketchup!
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