The Surprising Condiments Dietitians Say You Should Stop Having Because They Add *So Many* Extra Calories

November 22, 2021 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Food

Mayonnaise definitely has a bad rap for being a high-calorie condiment, but did you know that other dressings, spreads and condiments can pack even more calorie, fat, sugar and/or sodium content? If you’re attempting to follow a healthy diet for weight loss or management, nutrition experts advise skipping these unexpectedly high-fat, high-calorie, high-sugar sauces with your meals.

Worst Condiments For Weight Loss

Condiments can make a great addition to recipes thanks to the flavor and texture they add. Despite this yum factor, they can contain more grams of fat, sugar, sodium and overall calories than are recommended by leading nutrition experts to add on top of your meals. While in moderation, most condiments are completely fine to eat throughout your weight loss journey, these are the condiments that health experts recommend keeping to a minimum.

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Caesar Or French Dressing

"While mayonnaise is one of the highest calorie condiments, when you look at the combination between calories and ingredients, salad dressings such as Caesar or French dressings would be the best to minimize," Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN, of tells us.

What exactly does she mean? "While mayonnaise is higher in calories (94 calories per tablespoon, versus 80 calories for Caesar and 75 calories for French), the ingredients tend to be mostly oil and eggs where the other dressings tend to include added sugar and additives," she explains. So for example, they had additives for preserving the dressing (in addition to the fat content), and your average store-bought french dressing also has sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and coloring additives." Say it ain't so!

But that's not all--because people percieve of salads as "healthier" than sandwiches, they might have the tendency to have a larger volume of salad dressings than they would have of mayo. "This leads to increased calorie intake."

Ricci-Lee suggests creating your own dressing or using options like lemon, oil, and vinegar. If you are craving mayo, Ricci-Lee suggests adding condiments with fewer calories such as mustard to it. Genius!

Barbecue Sauce

"There are so many popular condiments that listing all of them and their nutritional value would take too much time; however, there is one high-calorie condiment you should never use if you can avoid it--barbecue sauce," Gretchen Miguel, MD and Chief Medical Officer for Medi-Weightloss tells us. "It is oftentimes high in calories, mostly sugar, has no nutritional value, and contains high fructose corn syrup," she warns. Yikes!

"Skipping the sugar and calorie dense BBQ sauce on your food will not only save you calories but also keep you on track toward your health goals," she advises. Pro tip: make your own homemade sauce that will satisfy your BBQ cravings with a little sugar free ketchup, vinegar, pepper and chili powder. "It’s less processed and still carries a spicy punch!"

Author: Justine Schwartz

Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at

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