August 20, 2013 by thehealthyheartcenter
Big, bold flavor is what usually draws us to our favorite foods. Creamy mayonnaise tops sandwiches, rich sauces complete a wide array of dishes, and thick dressings are mixed into big salads. Unfortunately, most of our favorite condiments are high in calories, fat, and sodium. For example, a single tablespoon (and most of us like to enjoy more than this!) totals to about 95 calories and 10 grams of fat. One serving of ranch dressing has approximately 150 calories and 15 grams of fat! Soy sauce, a favorite addition to most asian cuisines, has about half of your day’s worth of sodium! These condiments can make even the healthiest of dishes unhealthy when all is said and done. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to add flavor to your favorite foods without the negative consequences! Here are some tips to keep your food as healthy as possible:
- Instead of adding mayo, add some creamy hummus onto your sandwiches! Hummus is lower-calorie and is loaded with heart-healthy, unsaturated fats. There are also a lot of different flavors to choose from as well!
- When choosing salad dressings, opt for fat free whenever possible. Or, you can stay away from creamy dressings like ranch and balsamic. An easy go-to is oil and vinegar, a naturally low-calorie option that also has health fats.
- When choosing a pasta sauce, avoid anything that suggests that it’s creamy. Creamy pasta sauces like Alfredo are usually thick and loaded with a lot of fats and calories. Simple marinara sauce or some olive oil are usually safe bets. If you are feeling really adventurous, try some pesto for a really fresh basil taste!
- Sprinkling lemon juice on meat is a great way to add a refreshing zing to your meal without the sodium of other marinades.
- Spice things up! Spices are the perfect way to add plenty of flavor for virtually no calories or sodium. Oregano, basil, garlic, fajita seasoning, crushed red pepper, rosemary, cilantro…they are all great additions to any meal.
- If you must have your favorite sauce or condiment when eating out, ask for it on the side. Restaurants usually add too much anyway, and this allows you to be in control of how much you want to indulge.