Condiments are the spice of life. More accurately, they’re the spices, sauces, and anything else we add to our meals to impart new flavors or accentuate existing ones. If you’re on a weight loss or maintenance path, however, some condiments like ranch dressing or ketchup can end up being a trojan horse full of additives, sugars, and fats.
That’s where low-calorie and calorie-free condiments shine their brightest. These sauces and spreads can bring the flavor without adding “secret” calories. Here’s a list of our eight favorite healthy low-calorie and calorie-free condiments.
How can something edible have ZERO calories?
The only “true” zero-calorie condiment is water. The FDA classifies any food with 5 or fewer calories per serving or “reference amount customarily consumed” (RACC) as calorie-free or zero calories. “Low-calorie” refers to foods with 40 calories or less. All this to say, the quantity of what you’re consuming still matters, so don’t go drinking mustard and thinking you’re getting something for nothing.
The tabletop standby, mustard often gets a bad rap because of its fast-food connotations and connections to sugar-laden ketchup, but surprisingly many styles and brands of mustard can contain as little as 5 calories per serving. Most mustard is made with vinegar, garlic powder, mustard seed, lemon juice, salt, and turmeric, which can be a powerful anti-inflammatory as well.
Perfect for adding bright and zesty citrus notes to any dish without worrying about calorie-heavy creams or sugary reductions, natural lemon juice is perhaps one of the oldest condiments. Like all citrus, lemon is also a great source of vitamin c. Long recognized for bringing the flavor out of fish, lemon juice is also a perfect condiment for light salad dressings or low-cal mocktails!
Most hot sauce follows the “more for less” maxim when it comes to flavor, making it an easy way to transform a dish with a couple of drops. Sriracha and Tobasco are two excellent examples that can change up anything from morning eggs to southwest salads. As an added bonus, the capsaicin that gives these sauces their spice can be excellent for blood pressure and cholesterol.
As much as we’d like to just put “wine” on this list, we think wine vinegar is more of a traditional condiment. Wine vinegar is made by fermenting the alcohol in already fermented wine, converting the alcohol into acetic acid. While their exact caloric content may vary, there are enough wine vinegars both red and white below the 5 calorie count to consider it “calorie-free.” Better yet, it’s cheap, widely available, and a delicious addition to almost any veggies or meat!
This Italian classic is made from ground or purred pine nuts, fresh basil leaves, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. Basil is an excellent source of zinc, and pine nuts contain a good amount of healthy fat. Some pesto can lean too hard on the olive oil, so the healthiest option is usually home-made. With only three ingredients, though, it’s an easy and delicious project.
Another simple solution to soulless suppers. Salsa covers a wide swath of different vegetable-based sauces, but the core ingredients are tomatoes, onions, peppers, and herbs. Even though salsa isn’t as calorie-free as hot sauce, its nutritional value makes it an easy trade. Just be sure to dodge storebought brands with added sugar or salt.
This one is for those who feel like they can’t do without dairy. Since it has no added sugar or other ingredients, you get the pure benefits of protein and calcium with fewer calories and less lactose. Combine greek yogurt with herbs and spices for a low-cal creamy sauce or add to granola for a guilt-free breakfast.
Yes, it’s different from wine vinegar. Coming in at around 15 calories per serving, balsamic vinegar is thicker and more intense than other vinegar. The probiotics and antioxidants present in this semi-sweet syrup still outperform the natural sugars present, but it’s still best to keep an eye on portion size. Keep your body and your salad happy by not overdressing with this powerful condiment.
Keep it interesting
Eating healthy, calory-light meals can be a real challenge, but it doesn’t need to be tasteless. These calorie-free condiments can bring new flavors, textures, and nutrients to an otherwise ordinary meal. Just don’t forget that a little can go a long way.
If condiments aren’t enough to get you out of your flavor rut, why not sign up for one of Farm to Fit’s meal plans? Spiced and sauced to expert perfection and delivered right to your door!
Farm to Fit 2021
Signature Menu Meals
Signature Breakfast Sandwich
Start with a whole wheat English muffin, then melt gouda cheese over a caramelized-onion and egg disk, and top it all off with roasted red bell pepper & Canadian bacon. That’s what we call healthy morning munchies on the go!
Signature Tortilla Espanola
Salud! Start your morning in shades of Spain with a slice of our Tortilla Espanola, smeared with lemon-sweet paprika cream and finished with Canadian bacon.
Signature Chicken & Shrimp Paella
Saffron, Spanish rice, stir-fried vegetables, and seared chicken and shrimp. One of the world’s favorite one-dish meals, delivered to your door.
Signature Farm to Fit Kitchen Salad
A tangy, protein-packed lunch. Grilled chicken breast, BBQ-spiced garbanzo beans, edamame, and fresh veggies. Sprinkled with blue cheese and zesty house dressing.
Signature Beef Tuscan Stew
Stay warm until Spring’s here with a hearty bowl of our Tuscan style beef stew, complete with creamy polenta and wilted greens.
Signature Poached Salmon
A perfectly poached salmon fillet with a dill reduction drizzle. Served with a side of simple mashed potatoes and quick braised vegetables.
Fancy? Delicious? Easy?
Yes, yes, and always.
What People are Saying
“I am loving the meals!”
“Everything is so good and I’m trying and enjoying things I’ve never tried before. Eating is fun again!” – C.P.
“I have lost 53 pounds so far because of Farm to Fit.”
“After 9 months on Farm to Fit, my doctor now says I am no longer pre-diabetic.” – H.N
“I appreciate the variety.”
“Also, I noticed the ingredients on the nutrition labels which helps educate me as well as confirm that your ingredients are healthy and wisely sourced.” – K.S.
“I LOVE Farm to Fit.”
The meals are fantastic, and the customer service has always been outstanding… It’s like the best aspects of cooking at home and eating out combined.” – J.L.
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Core Plans Include 1200, 1600, 2000, Diabetes Friendly and BOOST Low Carb Monday – Wednesday (Sunday Delivery) Broccoli & Cheddar Omelet: with breakfast yams (D) Winter BBQ Brisket Sandwich: grand central bun, braised cabbage slaw, warm bean salad (B, O, BP)...
Core Plans Include 1200, 1600, 2000, Diabetes Friendly and BOOST Low Carb Monday – Wednesday (Sunday Delivery) Leek, Mushroom, Goat Cheese and Herb Omelet with breakfast potatoes (D, M) Polish Chicken in Roasted Carrot Sauce with spaetzle & green peas Herb-baked Cod...
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