Is ketchup healthy?
Is ketchup your go-to condiment? For many people, the answer is yes. Ketchup seems to go with just about every food-meat, cheese, burgers, eggs and anything fried. But is it a worthy staple in our diet?
Lets look at the ingredients:- Tomatoes (148g per 100g Tomato Ketchup), Spirit Vinegar, SUGAR, Salt, Spice and Herb Extracts (contain celery), Spice
One heaped tablespoon (30g) of red sauce has nearly 1 teaspoon (4g) of free sugars added to it. The World Health Organisation recommends adults to have no more than 25g per day of free sugar (6 teaspoons) per day for optimal health.
No one is saying to eliminate ketchup or sugar all together, but definitely be mindful when squeezing some red sauce onto your plate. Kids especially tend to over-do it, so be portion aware. Whats probably more important is WHAT we are putting ketchup on. If a little ketchup helps you eat 2/3 cups of broccoli than enjoy the ketchup! One study even emphasised an anti-inflammatory effect of tomato ketchup extracts due to lycopene content, however this study was partially funded by Heinz.
If you are worried about your sugar intake, a healthier alternative might be wholegrain mustard. Its lower in sugar, higher in fiber and magnesium than ketchup. Try keeping the ketchup to a minimum or swapping to wholegrain mustard at your next BBQ!