The Sneaky Side of Condiments: What Are They Hiding?

If you're like most people, you're probably taking in more sodium than you should. Salt is hiding everywhere. It's not just the table salt you should cut out; it lurks in processed foods everywhere. One of the biggest places sodium hides is your condiments. These meal additives are so high in sodium because it helps to increase their shelf life. Which condiments are the worst in sodium levels? Check it out here.

1. Barbecue Sauce: We love the taste of barbecue, especially in the summer when you've got the grill fired up. Unfortunately, a ¼-cup serving can have over 700 milligrams of sodium and 23 grams of sugar. Be cautious before slathering on any store-bought BBQ sauce and consider using our slimmed down recipe.

BBQ sauce - overhead shot

2. Spaghetti sauce: Be extra careful when you pick out your sauces so you can find the right one for you. A jar of spaghetti sauce could have up to 850 milligram of sodium in a half cup while Alfredo could have over 1,000 milligrams. Check out our cauliflower 'Alfredo' sauce here.

3. Ketchup: This common condiment isn't the absolute worst when it comes to sodium, but it's certainly not the best! One tablespoon has about 167 milligrams of sodium. You have to be VERY careful when it comes to portion control on ketchups, because one tablespoon won't get you as far as you may think. One other pitfall in ketchup is high sugar. Avoid both those unhealthy ingredients by making your own with this Skinny Mom Recipe.

4. Hot sauce: Many dishes call for hot sauce, and a common hot sauce ingredient? Chili peppers. Those fiery little guys are high in sodium and can make your hot sauce higher in sodium than you're anticipating. A healthy spicy alternative: Chop your own peppers into the meal. Think jalapeños, poblano or chipotle. You can also go for an original tabasco sauce, which is far lower in sodium than most other options.

5. Salad dressing: Salad dressings have lots of unhealthy additives. Oftentimes, fat-free and "light" versions have even more sodium than the original. Your best bet is to make your own dressings, that way you know exactly what is going in to your food. Check out all of our homemade dressings here.

light ranch

6. Cocktail sauce: With one tablespoon of cocktail sauce ranging from 150 to 250 milligrams of sodium, you'll want to be careful about how much you use.

7. Teriyaki sauce: It depends on what you buy, but you can get some seriously high sodium counts in just a little bit of teriyaki. One tablespoon could have 700 or more milligrams of sodium.

8. Soy sauce: This condiment, which is often the perfect pairing for your Asian-inspired dishes, can be one of the saltiest condiments there is. One tablespoon can have OVER half of your daily recommended sodium intake; even reduced-sodium versions are pretty high.

9. Sun-dried tomatoes: In a cup of sun-dried tomatoes, you can find about 260 calories and close to 300 milligrams of salt. If you have a sandwich, pasta or any other dish you plan on finishing off with these little guys, utilize portion control as best you can.


10. Relish: A sweet relish can have close to 125 milligrams of sodium in a tablespoon. If you opt for a dill relish, you're looking at closer to 450 per tablespoon! Try and opt for a low-sodium version or think about making your own zucchini-based version. Want to try something a little different? We love our Cranberry Apple Relish!

Cranberry apple relish

11. Capers: One tablespoon of capers typically has around 240 milligrams of sodium. Using a lower-sodium option and eating your capers sparingly will put you in the clear!