These 7 Guilt-Free Condiments Make Meals Tastier

Condiments, dips, and sauces are what make food taste so great, so it’s natural to get a little heavy-handed. French fries just aren’t the same without a pool of sauce (or sauces) to dunk them in and barbecue isn’t barbecue without sauce. Unfortunately, in addition to adding flavor, many condiments pack in a heavy dose of fat and calories. You may be eating a clean dinner of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli, but if you’re dousing both in ranch dressing, you’ll be consuming more calories, fat, and sugars than you think.

If you want to eat better without forgoing flavor, start by swapping out fatty, calorie-laden condiments for sauces that naturally have lower levels of sugar and fat. You’ll be watching your waistline without giving up on flavor. To start, make sure your fridge is stocked with these healthy condiments.

1. Salsa

veggie salsa

Stock up on salsa. | iStock.com

Salsa is as versatile as it is delicious. You can slather it on top of eggs, baked potatoes, and hamburgers in addition to all your Mexican food favorites. Unlike most condiments, salsa is made up of chopped peppers, onions, and herbs and typically doesn’t have any added sugars. Don’t shy away from the spice. Certain spices found in salsa can speed up weight loss, and they may have other benefits as well.

2. Hummus

hummus

Hummus with vegetables is a delicious and healthy combo. | iStock.com

If you’re a mayo and ranch dressing addict, try using hummus instead. The chickpea-based dip is the perfect accompaniment to veggies and makes a great sandwich smear. The texture of hummus is just as creamy as mayo, and you’ll be giving your body protein and healthy fats for just 25 calories a tablespoon.

3. Mustard

mustard sauce

Mustard is delicious for dipping. | iStock.com

This popular condiment shouldn’t be too hard to find. American’s love mustard, and with good reason. Mustard plant seeds are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It’s a great sandwich smear but works just as well as a dip for veggies or pretzels. If you’re crafty enough to make your own sauces and salad dressings, mustard should be your go-to ingredient. Skip honey mustards, as they’ll typically have more sugar.  

4. Guacamole

mango guacamole with corn chips

Guacamole is full of nutrients, but be careful of your portion size. | iStock.com/nata_vkusidey

Avocados are creamy and delicious, so it’s no surprise that avocado-based guacamole makes for an easy go-to condiment substitute. Instead of lathering mayo on your turkey sandwich, spread on some guacamole. Avocados are full of healthy monounsaturated fats that will keep you full longer and help regulate your appetite.

5. Pesto

Cilantro pesto in jars on wooden background

Making pesto is easy. | iStock.com

It’s hard not to love pesto. The sauce is commonly used on pasta, but it’s more diverse than most people realize. Pesto is traditionally made from basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil, and Parmesan, which makes for a rich and guilt-free combination of ingredients. If you’re motivated, try making your own so you can regulate how much cheese and oil is used. Then, feel free to lather this delicious ingredient on anything you can find.

6. Soy sauce

soy sauce in a bowl

Soy sauce is low in calories and tasty. | iStock.com

Rather than buying thick and heavy stir-fry sauces, stick to low-calorie soy sauce. It’s all too easy to add this soybean-derived sauce to anything from rice to eggs to soups. If you’re worried about salt content, consider soy sauce’s close cousin, tamari, which has a similar taste but is smoother and less salty. Both options make great marinades and dips.

7. Ketchup

Ketchup with fries

Ketchup isn’t so bad if you stick to a small portion. | iStock.com

Arguably America’s favorite condiment, ketchup often gets a bad rap. While higher in sugar than some sauces, ketchup makes up for it with its low calorie and fat content. The tomato-based condiment also provides you with a healthy dose of lycopene. Livestrong.com explains lycopene may promote healthy cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of certain cancers.