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ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, and thousand island dressing flowing out of the bottles

Boosting Flavorful Condiments Without the Carbs

Dips and dressings can take a meal from bland to bold with a simple squeeze of the bottle. Not to mention, these condiments can also pack on unwanted sugar, salt, and calories. Discover which condiment has been the unintentional culprit to your increased blood sugar values. Then, use our tips and tricks to add some flair to your favorite choices without sacrificing flavor.

Where does your favorite condiment rank?

Are your condiments wreaking havoc on your blood glucose levels? It’s easy to turn a perfectly healthy grilled chicken into a sweet treat with a heavy hand of honey mustard. Or perhaps your newfound favorite air fryer is acting as a vessel for an abundance of sugary ketchup or barbecue sauce on otherwise healthy sweet potatoes. Use the chart below to see if your favorite sauce is secretly packing on the calories and carbohydrates.

Condiment Nutrition Information

Per 2 Tbsp ServingCaloriesGrams of Sugar
Barbecue Sauce7015g
Honey Mustard807g
Hoisin Sauce70.58.5g
Teriyaki Sauce28.54.5g
Sweet Relish408g
Thousand Island1184.5g

Source: USDA Food Data Central.

Learn more about condiments—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Can condiments be healthy?

No need to shun all of your favorite condiments! Instead, enjoy them in moderation by transforming them into healthier alternatives. With a little creativity, you can enhance any meal’s flavor profile while keeping blood glucose levels under control. Check out these must-try ways to reinvent your condiments.

Ketchup: Dilute this staple condiment with the real deal! Use tomato sauce to add a tangy twist that you won’t want to miss. Or, mix half your ketchup with light vegan mayonnaise to make a creamy aioli that is dip-tastic!

Honey mustard: We get it; mustard is a must! Transform this sweet favorite by substituting half of the mayonnaise for non-fat Greek yogurt. Then, cut down on the honey by adding your favorite sugar substitute.

Barbecue: Cue the tomatoes! Substituting sugar for an unsweetened tomato paste adds tons of flavor while keeping blood sugar levels steady.

Hoisin: Make a sinfully delicious hoisin cutting down on the molasses, honey, or brown sugar, and instead pump up the all-natural peanut butter.

Sweet relish: Skip the white sugar and add the sweet taste of honey in lesser amounts. Or experiment with substituting with sugar substitutes.

Add flavor au naturel!

While there may be a few cons to condiments, it doesn’t mean that your dish has to be without flavor. Instead, skip the sauce and experiment with these simple meal enhancers. There are options for every occasion! Reap the benefits of colorful herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables — each packed with its own unique health benefits. Then, explore a multitude of combinations to find your favorite to enjoy stress-free.

  • Citrus: lemon, lime, orange
  • Vinegar: apple cider, balsamic, wine, rice
  • Salsas: tomato, verde, fruit
  • Roasted vegetable spreads: eggplant, red pepper
  • Herb infusions: thyme, rosemary, basil
  • Spice: siracha, chili flakes, hot chili peppers, paprika
  • Coconut aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
  • Ginger and turmeric
  • Tahini and lemon juice
  • Truffle
  • Garlic
  • Hummus
  • Mashed avocado

Revolutionize every plate from sandwiches to stir-fries! After all, a little creativity can go a long way in pumping up the flavor without doing the same to your blood sugar levels. For more food-spiration, check a Sample Day of Colorful Brain Protecting Meals for People with Diabetes.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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