Condiments and Dressings

Flavor is one of the most important attribute for choosing (and preparing) foods. Indeed, flavors, taste, and bouquet play an important role if you are trying to change eating habits and acquire a healthier cooking style as they determine the success in achieving your goals concerning your body weight and health.

Let’s be honest, dieting is boring and one time or another we feel compelled to eat foods that are not only healthy but also satisfying our cravings for rich and delicious goodies. This could be a breaking point between your commitment to eat a healthy diet and your anxious cravings for tastier and richer foods. To deal successfully with this challenging dilemma is crucial to have on your side the right tools to keep on your team key players, namely creativity, healthy habits, and good flavors. For this purpose, spices and tasty dressings are great allies because they can transform a bland and boring dish into an explosion of flavors and benefits to your health. The only basic prerequisite for these spices or flavoring agents is that they do not wreck your efforts for losing weight and controlling your blood glucose. So, they have to be low in calories, fat, sugar, and also they should have a predominant tasty flavor. Some of the foods that comply with these requisites, are the following:

  • Mixed with a little amount of olive oil, salt, and lemon juice, it can impart a Mediterranean touch to your salads and baked veggies. Also, just one spoon of this delicious dressing can mutate a bland salad into a delicious and daring dish.
  • Agave syrup. It has a low Glycemic Index and just a teaspoon can enhance the flavor of natural yogurt to obtain a nutritious and healthy dessert. It can also be added to salad dressings for a unique and exotic flavor.
  • This exquisite cream contains not only a high amount of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids but also antioxidants. It can be spread on sandwiches or used as side dish for whole lentil chips or “arepas”.
  • It is also plentiful of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. It is a wonderful side dish for vegetables or as an integral part of a vegetarian dish along with rice and veggies.
  • This sauce works nicely on chicken and fish. Combined with herbs like rosemary, fennel, and honey can be used in a great varieties of preparations and recipes. Mustard can be purchased in combination with honey or as the world famous Dijon mustard.
  • Natural tomato sauce. This sauce can be prepared with finely chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro; lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and a pinch of your favorite hot pepper. Drizzle a bit of olive oil mixing well to emulsify. Enjoy with nachos to the last bite!
  • Pesto sauce. This is an all time favorite! It is loaded with antioxidants and detoxifying herbs. Just a tiny portion can improve your dish flavor. Prepare your own pesto by blending basil, parsley, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, and a wonderful touch of Parmesan cheese. If you feel that basil flavor is too strong you can use spinach, cilantro or mint instead.

Finally, this list will not be completed if we don’t include those condiments and sauces that will not help you lose weight or improve your health. These condiments are usually employed to mask the taste of vegetables and salads to make them more appealing to children or even adults that despise these foods. Some of the most loaded with sugar, fat, and chemicals that you should avoid, include the following:

  • Ketchup. This type of tomato sauce is loaded with sodium and sugar and a light version of it is lacking.
  • Mayonnaise. It contains a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol although a light version based on vegetable oils is available.
  • Marmalades and syrups. They have an amazing amount of calories you won’t believe.
  • Creamy dressings. These rich dressings such as Ranch or Cesar’s are not recommended because they loaded with artificial flavoring agents and are made out mayonnaise, fats, and sugar. Plenty of calories!
  • BBQ sauce or Teriyaki. They have a lot of sodium that can affect cell functions. They are also rich in sugar, artificial coloring compounds, fat, and other chemicals. Definitely, not recommended!

I hope that the above guide be of a great help for making a wiser selection of your condiments and dressings to make sure that the flavor as well as the nutritional value of your diet will be even better and healthier.


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Dr. Montserrat Rodríguez

Dr. Montserrat Rodríguez

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