If you count your calories but don’t include the condiments, you could be neglecting hundreds of extra calories…
If you read the nutritional information, most condiments will look very low calorie. But a lot of these labels list a single teaspoon or a tablespoon as a serving size. The standard cup for restaurants or takeout is about 2oz, which is equal to 4 tablespoons or 12 teaspoons.
Let’s use ketchup as an example here. A “normal” serving of ketchup won’t add many calories to your meal, but if you’re enjoying fries and use up a side cup of ketchup, you’re consuming almost 100 extra calories. 100 calories is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but if you do it on the regular, you can see how that can add up. If you get yourself a side of garlic aioli to dip your truffle fries into (how amazing does that sound?) you can be looking at nearly 400 extra calories.
A quick side note on mustard. Most mustards list 0 calories, but the FDA says that anything under 5 calories can be listed as 0. Most mustard has 3 calories per teaspoon, if you’re wondering where the number came from.
Don’t abandon condiments in fear, that’s not the point here! Rather, just be smart about them. If you order a sandwich that comes with mayo, ask for the mayo on the side so you can control the portion. If you’re dieting and wondering “why can’t I lose weight”, often times it’s the hidden calories in beverages or condiments that can make the difference.