You’re training hard, eating healthy and not seeing the results you desire. Ever thought about the impact of seemingly innocuous condiments like sugar-injected ketchup?
On the days you’re throwing caution into the wind, by all means, cover that burger and fries with ketchup. Otherwise, stay far away from this generally processed topping, particularly if it’s not organic and natural.
So what is your Heinz “tomato” ketchup’s first ingredient? Tomato concentrate made from red, ripe tomatoes. Translation: We are not using rotten produce and we want to make it sound like that’s a bonus for you. At least Heinz has allowed the tomatoes to become red. It doesn’t do much for you, the consumer, however. By removing all the liquid and turning them into concentrate, the vast majority of the nutrition is stripped out.
That’s not my favorite part. The part that provided me with my stress relieving laughter for the day? Heinz wasn’t content adding high fructose corn syrup alone. They’ve also included, for our culinary enjoyment, plain corn syrup. The high fructose stuff needed a familiar companion, apparently. Money is what drives these ingredients. Corn syrup is substantially less expensive than the already dirt-cheap refined sugar.
High fructose corn syrup is any group of corn syrups that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert glucose to fructose to get that sweetness. In the U.S. most companies use high fructose corn syrup in lieu of cane sugar, simply because it’s cheaper. Corn is subsidized by the U.S. government, making the high fructose corn syrup cheaper.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never indulged with a big pile of fries and a single packet of ketchup. Don’t you open up at least five of those bad boys between your potatoes and burger? That’s five servings and 20 grams of the nastiest kind of sweetener known to man.
You’ll do better with an organic option with less sugar, but why not make the leap and substitute fresh salsa? You’ll be taking another step in the direction of your goals and getting delicious flavor in the process. From SFGate:
While salads, stir fries and steamed or roasted vegetables represent obvious ways to reach your daily vegetable intake, condiments like fresh tomato salsa also help you achieve your intake goals. Fresh tomato salsa, made with fresh vegetables including onions and hot peppers, provides a source of essential nutrients and offers a number of health benefits.
A quality salsa will be rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and capsaicin. More importantly, it is a fibrous, fresh tasting addition to that juicy burger.
Try this salsa recipe I recently found courtesy of my man, Alton Brown, and see if you ever go back to the stuff in the squeeze bottle.
- 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 seeded and minced jalapenos, plus 2 roasted, skinned and chopped jalapenos
- 1 red bell pepper, fine dice
- 1/2 red onion, fine chopped
- 2 dry ancho chiles, seeded, cut into short strips and snipped into pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- Chili powder, salt, and pepper, to taste
- Fresh scallions, cilantro or parsley, to taste
In a bowl, combine all ingredients. This can be eaten immediately, but for best results, let sit in the refrigerator for 12 hours for the flavors to meld.