America loves condiments, and I do too. We have been programmed to add sauces and spreads to every sandwich, snack, and meal. While I cannot take the love for condiments out of America, I can try to influence healthy substitutes for the staple condiments in your homes. Most people do not full grasp the amount of sugar, sodium, or fat that condiments can add to their meal. Condiments can turn a healthy meal into an indulgence—but they don't have to. Let's explore the healthier condiment alternatives of the world.

Swap Mustard for Ranch

Alex Kaplan

Some of the most common uses for ranch are as a salad dressing or dipping sauce. However, ranch can add more fat and calories than people most likely realize. The serving size for ranch is two tablespoons, which contains 14 grams of fat and around 130 calories. Most people use a whole lot more than two tablespoons. 

While ranch may be difficult to give up, mustard is an awesome, healthy alternative that can add life and spice to your salads, sandwiches, snacks, and dips. Most mustards contain distilled vinegar, garlic powder, mustard seeds, onion powder, salt, spices, and turmeric, which sums up to about five calories per serving with no added fat or sugar. Thus, not only is mustard a low calorie and low fat option, but it also offers great health benefits. For example, turmeric is in almost every mustard you can find, and it acts as a natural antioxidant. I never was a fan of mustard until recently, but after trying it out I really believe it is an underrated and not to mention, extremely healthy, condiment.

Swap Pico De Gallo for Ketchup

Alex Kaplan

This one is going to be hard to convince people on, but do you know how much sugar is in ketchup? The first two ingredients of ketchup are tomato concentrate and distilled vinegar. However, it is the next two ingredients that are the cause for concern. High fructose corn syrup and corn syrup are listed as the next two ingredients in high volume; one normal-sized bottle of Heinz ketchup contains 33 tablespoons of added sugar. Ketchup-lovers know that you can't just use a little—you need to have all of your food drenched in that sweet tomato goodness. Is it possible to achieve the same flavors and satisfaction of this staple condiment without all the sugar?

Pico de gallo, also known as salsa fresca, is made of tomato, onion, pepper, salt, lime, and cilantro. With all of the ingredients being completely natural, there is zero added sugar. Although you might not be able to dip your fries in it the same way as ketchup, it would serve as a great topping on a burger or sandwich. Pico de gallo provides a fresh tomato flavor in the same way that ketchup does, but without all the unnecessary sugar that leads to skyrocketing blood glucose levels.

Swap Coconut Aminos for Soy Sauce

Alex Kaplan

Let's talk sodium! The average person should be consuming around 2,300 mg of sodium everyday, but this can vary based on diet, activity level, and medical history. Yet, the average American consumes around 3,400 mg of sodium every day . A high sodium diet is associated with a much higher risk for high blood pressure, which can in turn cause other cardiovascular complications. 

Soy sauce contains about 280 milligrams of sodium in a single teaspoon. A soy sauce dish that accompanies your sushi can hold about 6 teaspoons— if finished, it contains more than half of your recommended sodium intake for the day. Coconut aminos are an amazing alternative for anyone with a soy sensitivity, allergy, or simply watching their sodium intake. Coconut aminos contain 90 milligrams of sodium in a single teaspoon, which is about one third of the sodium that soy sauce contains. Coconut aminos are fantastic to cook vegetables with, or as a replacement in Asian dishes where one would normally use soy sauce.

Swap Greek Yogurt for Mayonnaise

Alex Kaplan

Mayonnaise contains about 10 grams of fat and 100 calories in a single tablespoon. It is used in macaroni salad, tuna salad, egg salad, and as a condiment on sandwiches. Mayonnaise moistens food, provides a smoother texture, and increases satiation. However, there are other foods that can be used for the same purpose. Although it may surprise you, chefs have learned that Greek yogurt is an amazing replacement for mayo in tuna, egg, and macaroni salad. I recently made coleslaw with Greek yogurt and it was delicious! The best part? Non-fat plain Greek yogurt has around 10 grams of protein per serving size. So, not only will Greek yogurt drastically decrease your fat intake, but it will also provide protein to keep you satiated throughout the day. 

Moral of the story: all condiments are okay and delicious in moderation. However, if you are a consistent ranch, ketchup, soy sauce, or mayo user, you may want to consider their substitutes every once in a while. It will help to keep your fat and sugar intake in check, as well as help maintain normal sodium levels, which is important since hypertension is the cause of many cardiovascular diseases. Now, go enjoy a burger of your choice topped with pico de gallo. Make your salad with a mustard-based dressing and try some coleslaw made with Greek yogurt. Finally, buy some coconut aminos to accompany your sushi. Your body will thank you!