Don’t Get Lost in the Sauce!

Condiments are both a blessing and a curse. They do a great job of enhancing flavor and making meals more enjoyable. However, some condiments are oil based and negatively contribute to your overall calorie intake. Regardless, if you’re counting calories or not, prioritizing condiments that are low calorie is a great strategy if you are trying to maintain a calorie deficit. 

Here’s a few low calorie condiment suggestions

  • Greek yogurt (sour cream substitute)
  • Hot sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Salsa
  • Sugar free BBQ sauce
  • Pico de gallo
  • Mustard
  • Soy sauce

I challenge you to go to your refrigerator and select 3 of your favorite condiments. What are the top 3 ingredients? How much added sugar is in one serving? How many grams of fat are in one serving?  100 calories may not seem high by itself, but if we are having multiple servings a week, it can certainly add up.

Let’s take this spicy ranch dressing for example. Back when I was in college, I would put this dressing on everything. Eggs, wraps, veggies, chicken, etc. It was certainly my go-to sauce. One serving contains 100 calories and 11 grams of fat. This did not seem too bad until I actually realized how much I consumed on a weekly basis.

On average, I was probably consuming 10-12 servings a week which means that I was getting 1,000 calories (110 grams a fat) a week from  a condiment. The amount of total fat I was consuming from this source was unnecessary.  I took matters into my own hands to quit this habit. I tried to quit cold turkey… and that didn’t work. I was missing satisfaction with my meals, and I missed the spice that came along with the cold creamy taste. That’s when I discovered a better alternative, using plain greek yogurt!

Plain greek yogurt by itself is high in protein and low in fat. Using this as a base for all condiments is a great way to reduce overall calorie intake, increase portion size, and will help contribute to your overall protein goal. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Greek yogurt Southwest Dressing

  • 2 servings of Plain Greek yogurt (1.5 cups of Greek yogurt)
  • 2 servings of light Mayo (4 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon curry
  • 2 tablespoon of lime juice

-Adam Dunckel RDN, MS, LD

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