Ketchup can be found in approximately 92 percent of American households, according to the research firm, NPD Group. I don't know about you, but I personally am a ketchup lover, and proud of it. My friends and family tease me 24/7 for my obsession over this tomato-filled condiment. From surprising health benefits to intriguing life hacks, here are seven reasons why ketchup is the best condiment out there.

1. Ketchup Protects Your Heart

Health, Exercising, working out, Work Out, exercise, indoor gym, cardio, fitness, running, run, treadmill, gym
Denise Uy

Running on the treadmill isn't the only way to keep your heart happy and healthy. Tomatoes (the main ingredient in ketchup) contains an antioxidant called lycopene, which has been proven to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

In 2014, a lycopene-related study, lead by Dr. Joseph Cheriyan from Addenbrooke's Hospital and Cambridge University, produced some interesting results. It was discovered that lycopene has the ability to dilate blood vessels. This is significant because constricted blood vessels are a common cause of strokes and heart attacks.

It's pretty amazing that a condiment can be so delicious and effective at the same time.

2. Ketchup Polishes Jewelry

cake, cookie
Julie Lin

This may sound a bit wild, but it's true. Ketchup has the ability to polish tarnished silver. Simply place your jewelry in a bowl of ketchup, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, scrub the jewelry with an old toothbrush, and rinse it off with warm water. Neat! There's no need to open your wallet for expensive polish—just open your fridge instead.

3. Ketchup Reduces Levels of LDL Cholesterol

vegetable, ketchup
Arden Sarner

Yet another health benefit of consuming ketchup! In 2007, a study was conducted at the University of Oulo in Finland and  researchers found that in healthy adults who, over the course of three weeks added a little ketchup or tomato sauce into each of their meals, experienced significant drops in their LDL levels. Although, fair warning, the study was conducted on only 21 individuals, so not a huge sampling. But the results seem promising!

LDL cholesterol, known as the "bad" cholesterol, is the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in arteries. In other words, it is not good to have too much of this stuff. Luckily, ketchup has the capability to provide a small but effective fix.

4. Ketchup Is a Key Ingredient in Other Dishes

shrimp, pasta
Ashley Marino

Ketchup is more present in your everyday life than you may think. It can be found in many delicious dishes such as sweet & sour baked chicken, shrimp cocktails, and BBQ chicken sliders. Ketchup can add flavor to any food and make it taste delectable.

Even if it is not cooked into a dish, pretty much any food can be dipped into it to add a hint of flavor. A personal favorite of mine is grilled cheese. It just would not be the same without the familiar taste of ketchup.

5. Ketchup Is Low in Calories and Fat

pepper, carrot, tomato, vegetable
Christin Urso

Yes, you read that correctly! A one tablespoon serving of Heinz standard ketchup contains only 20 calories, which is far less than the 1 percent of the daily recommended calorie intake for most people. Compared to mayonnaise, that's way less calories per tablespoon. Crazy stuff! Clearly, it's time to swap out that mayonnaise on your sandwich for ketchup instead.

Additionally, to top things off (no pun intended!), ketchup contains basically no fat—with less than 0.1 gram in each tablespoon serving. Incredible! Next time you're at a family barbecue and you're picking condiments for your burgers, choose ketchup.

6. Ketchup Could Potentially Prevent Cancer

farmer's market, Fresh, lemon, vegetable, pasture, tomato, pepper
Caroline Ingalls

Studies have shown that consuming tomatoes, a main source of lycopene, could prevent breast cancer. According to the leader of the 12-year study, Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a nutrition expert at Harvard Medical School, ketchup is an ideal source of lycopene.

Dr. Joseph Levy, of the Ben-Gurion University in Israel, exposed breast cancer cells to high levels of lycopene and two other nutrients. He found that this high exposure caused the cancerous cells to stop growing. Although more research is needed, his findings are exciting.

Studies have also shown that the risk of prostate cancer could be reduced by up to a third, simply by consuming tomato sauce twice a week. 

Of course, I'm not a scientist or no doctor, but these studies sound promising.

7. Ketchup Has Fans Worldwide

vegetable, tomato, cherry, cherry tomato, pasture
Caroline Ingalls

Ketchup is a very popular condiment. It is rare to find someone who does not enjoy it. It is so popular, as a matter of fact, that there is a whole section for fans on the Heinz Ketchup website.

There is also an online shop that sells ketchup apparel and novelty items. Check out the ketchup luggage and ketchup costume. You know a condiment is the best when there is an entire gift shop business dedicated to it.

However, the United States is not the only country where ketchup is consumed and loved. It turns out, ketchup first originated in Asia. Additionally, Canadians love ketchup so much that they created ketchup chips. Now that's dedication.

As you can see, ketchup is not only delicious, but shockingly beneficial to your health and daily life as well. I'm glad I could help you ketch-up on your reading about this amazing condiment. If there's any debate over which condiment is the best, the answer is clear— it's ketchup by a landslide.