Sauces! They are delicious and also sources of sugar and salt. Learn how to cut down on sugar and how to reduce salt intake when cooking with sauces with these healthy cooking methods.
We eat these sauces every day but how much do we know about their nutrition content? Let's learn more about common condiments like soy sauce and sambal!
This high-in-sodium sauce adds that salty oomph to Thai food and Vietnamese spring rolls. Cut back on this sauce if you've got high blood pressure or hypertension. So, how to reduce your salt intake? For a slightly lower-in-sodium dipping sauce, try light soy sauce with chopped chili padi and a squeeze of lime.
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Ingredients: Anchovy, salt, sugar Sodium: 1,012 mg (50% of daily recommended intake) Calories: 17 kcal (4 minutes of jumping jacks)
Oyster sauce, used to stir-fry veggies like kai lan and bok choy, is high in sodium. Use this sauce sparingly if you're watching your sodium intake or actively cutting back on the amount of sodium consumed at every meal - stir-fry your greens with spices like ginger, garlic, and peppercorns instead!
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Ingredients: Oyster extract, corn starch, sugar, saltSodium: 580 mg (30% of daily recommended intake) Calories: 10 kcal (2.5 minutes of jumping jacks)
This spicy, shrimpy sauce is high in sodium and calories, so eat less if you have high blood pressure or are watching your calories. When frying sambal belacan at home, taste before adding salt - belacan (shrimp paste) is already salty.
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Ingredients: Ground chilli, roasted belacan (shrimp paste), salt, sugar Sodium: 690 mg (35% of daily recommended intake) Calories: 44 kcal (10 minutes of jumping jacks)
Savoury soy sauce is light in calories but high in sodium. Remember to taste your food before seasoning: ask yourself if you really need extra soy sauce in your dry mee pok. Also, check out lower-sodium versions of soy sauces.
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Ingredients: Soybean, wheat, salt Sodium: 860 mg (45% of daily recommended intake) Calories: 8.5 kcal (2 minutes of jumping jacks)
This caramelly sauce is used in Indonesian dishes like mee goreng and nasi goreng. Its aromatic sweetness - and empty calories (calories without nutrients) - comes from palm sugar. Eat less kecap manis if you're watching your sugar intake.
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Ingredients: Palm sugar, salt, soybean Sodium: 227 mg (11% of daily recommended intake) Sugar: 7.6 g (16% of daily recommended intake) Calories: 37 kcal (8.5 minutes of jumping jacks)
This sauce isn't especially high in calories, salt, or sugar, but the numbers do add up, so eat moderately if you're watching your calorie and sodium intake! Perhaps cut down from two packets of sauce to one when you're eating fries or chicken wings. Here’s a healthy cooking tip: Try substituting with spices like paprika (6 kcal/teaspoon) and garlic powder (10 kcal/teaspoon).
Serving Size: 1 packet (about 1/2 tablespoon) Ingredients: Chilli, sugar, garlic, thickener, salt Sodium: 100 mg (5% of daily recommended intake) Sugar: 2.7 g (6% of daily recommended intake) Calories: 10 kcal (2.5 minutes of jumping jacks)
Eating too much sodium could raise blood pressure, so use low sodium sauces and ensure that you keep to a limit of 2000 mg of sodium daily.
Sugar isn't so sweet for health either! Added sugar has little nutrition, and eating excess sugar increases risk of obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. Stick to no more than 50g daily sugar intake limit.
Switch up your sauces as recommended in the infographic above to enjoy a healthier and equally delicious meal! Learn more about the nutritional content of your favourite foods.
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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