The Best and Worst Condiments for Sugar Content

Sugar often hides in all those delicious condiments clinking in your fridge door. Find out which ones are maybe a little too sweet for your daily sugar budget.

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Trying to cut down on sugar? Be sure to check the labels on your condiments, too. They may look innocent (and tasty!) hanging out in your fridge, but some of them are packed with the sweet stuff. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that we consume 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. Most Americans are eating about 19-1/2 teaspoons per day. Here’s what happens when you cut the sweet stuff out of your diet for 30 days.

To help you keep track, here’s a list of common sauces and toppers and how they’ll add to your daily tally—from zero grams to the heaviest hitters.

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Ljubljana, Slovenia - September 17, 2016: 2nd Chili - Hot Pepper Festival Fair in Lepa Zoga. Different Hot Sauce makers present their products to the public. Fotrovi ciliji hot sauce.

0 grams: Hot Sauce

A 1-teaspoon serving delivers no sugar, simply red peppers, vinegar, water, salt and garlic. Hooray for hot sauce. Here’s how to make it at home.

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0 grams: Yellow Mustard

There’s no sugar in a 1-teaspoon serving of this tangy hot dog topper, so squeeze away.

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0 grams: Mayonnaise

The real stuff has no sugar in a 1-tablespoon serving. (Miracle Whip has 1 gram of it—but only half the fat.) Here’s the real difference between Miracle Whip versus mayo.

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0 grams: Soy Sauce

A 1-tablespoon serving has no sugar, but delivers almost a quarter of your daily sodium allowance.

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1 gram: Worcestershire Sauce

There’s 1 gram of sugar per teaspoon of this favorite steak topper and Bloody Mary mix-in. Those who are serious about their Bloodys know that the best way to make them has nothing to do with the garnishes.

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1 gram: Ranch Dressing

Two tablespoons of this favorite pizza-dipping, salad-topping condiment bring 1 gram of sugar, but also 22 percent of your daily fat allowance. Learn how to make it at home.

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2 grams: Jarred Salsa

A 2-tablespoon serving delivers 2 grams of sugar, though it seems to be natural (not added) sugar. That’s a plus. Psst! Here’s our favorite brand of store-bought salsa.

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2 grams: Coconut Aminos

This soy sauce substitute favored by people on a paleo diet has 2 grams of natural sugar in a 1-teaspoon serving, and only 7 percent of your daily sodium allowance.

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2 grams: Steak Sauce

A 1-tablespoon serving will give you 2 grams of sugar in the form of corn syrup and raisin paste.

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2 grams: Ranch Dressing, Light

You’re exchanging calories and fat for sugar in the “light” version. A 2-tablespoon serving has 2 grams of added sugar.

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2 grams: Tartar Sauce

A 2-tablespoon serving for your fish & chips has 2 grams of sugar.

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4 grams: Ketchup

One tablespoon of America’s favorite condiment has 4 grams of sugar, but let’s be honest—we’re probably dipping our fries in more than that amount.

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6 grams: Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

This sweet and savory deliciousness will give you 6 grams of sugar in a 2-tablespoon serving. Sugar is its third ingredient, honey its sixth.

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12 grams: Organic Barbecue Sauce

This grilled-food favorite packs 12 grams of sugar per 2-tablespoon serving. One nonorganic brand delivers 9 grams of sugar for the same amount.

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15 grams: Honey Barbecue Sauce

Yikes—you’re going to get 15 grams of sugar in a 2-tablespoon serving of this sweet sauce.

Kristin Sutter
A big fan of homegrown cooking, Kristin has been a writer and editor for nearly 20 years. She has mastered the art of learning from her inexpert riffs on other people's truly good recipes.