Are you struggling to find flavor and satisfaction within your healthy eating habits?
Do boring, bland dishes have you wishing for something more exciting in the kitchen?
Although dieting may sound difficult, it doesn’t have to be tiresome and unappetizing! There are a variety of low-calorie sauces available that can amp up the flavor in almost any meal without packing on unwanted pounds.
Today we’ll look at 13 mouthwatering low calorie sauces so that you can get creative with healthier, delicious cooking – plus 4 common additions to avoid if trying out this lifestyle change.
Of all the low calorie sauces, hot sauces are one of the best to add some flavor and spice to your food. When eating a healthy diet, things can get bland. But with hot sauce, you can enjoy some flavor without worrying about going over your calories. Here are a few hot sauces you can add to your dishes:
Sriracha has gained popularity worldwide and is known for its spicy yet slightly sweet flavor.
It can be used as a condiment or ingredient in various dishes like soup, meat dishes, or whatever your heart desires! Some people even use it as a dip for snacks like chips or vegetables.
Franks Red Hot Sauce
Frank’s Hot Sauce is another popular brand of hot sauce that was created in 1920 by Jacob Frank. It is made from cayenne peppers, vinegar, garlic, and other spices.
It is a staple in American cuisine and has become a household name for its versatility and delicious taste.
Known for its tangy and slightly sour flavor, Frank’s Hot Sauce is often used as a marinade or glaze for meats or as a topping for dishes like chicken wings.
Tapatio is a Mexican hot sauce that was first introduced in 1971. It is made from red chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, and spices. Tapatio is known for its fiery and tangy flavor, making it a popular choice for adding heat to dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and burritos.
It has gained a strong following among hot sauce enthusiasts and is also commonly used as a condiment for snacks like popcorn or chips.
Tabasco is widely recognized and loved for its unique flavor and is a staple in many households around the world.
Known for its spicy and tangy flavor, with a hint of sweetness, it’s often used as a condiment for dishes like eggs, pizza, and burgers, but can also be added to marinades or used as a dipping sauce for snacks.
Salads are a staple weight-loss food but are often ruined by high-calorie dressings. What should be a refreshing meal full of nutrient-dense vegetables turns into a high-calorie meal of false reality. Here are some dressings you can add to your salad without feeling guilty about it:
15 calories per tablespoon
Balsamic vinegar is made from grape must, which is the juice of freshly crushed grapes, and is aged for several years in wooden barrels. Balsamic vinegar is also a popular ingredient in many Italian dishes, adding depth and acidity to sauces and stews. Balsamic vinegar has a rich, dark color and a complex, sweet, and tangy flavor.
It is commonly used as a salad dressing, marinade, or glaze for meats and vegetables.
Don’t confuse balsamic vinegar with balsamic vinaigrette as this can be a higher-calorie dressing with more added ingredients.
Less than 18 calories per tablespoon
Romesco Dip is a popular Spanish sauce made from roasted red peppers, almonds, garlic, and olive oil. It originated in the Catalonia region and is commonly served as a dip for vegetables or bread.
The sauce has a rich and nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness and can also be used as a topping for grilled meats or seafood or as a dip for veggie sticks or chips.
15 calories per tablespoon
Tzatziki sauce is a Greek condiment made from strained yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, and dill. It has a creamy texture and tangy flavor, with a refreshing hint of cucumber and herbs. Tzatziki can be easily made at home, using simple ingredients, and is a delicious addition to any meal.
Tzatziki is commonly served as a dip for pita bread or vegetables and is also used as a sauce for grilled meats or gyros.
Sugar-Free/Fat-Free Poppyseed Dressing
10 calories per 1 tablespoon
Sugar-free, fat-free Poppyseed dressing is a healthier alternative to traditional creamy dressings. It is made with a base of non-fat Greek yogurt, flavored with vinegar and poppy seeds.
This dressing has a tangy and slightly sweet flavor, perfect for drizzling over salads or using as a marinade for chicken or fish. It is a guilt-free option for those watching their sugar and fat intake.
For many people struggling to lose weight, dipping sauces and condiments are often underestimated. What may seem like an innocent sauce, turns into a high-calorie flavor booster. Here are a few low calorie sauces you can try out next time you need a dip:
10 calories or less per tablespoon
Sugar-free ketchup is a low-sugar alternative to traditional ketchup. It is made with a sugar substitute, such as stevia or erythritol, instead of high fructose corn syrup. This allows for the same rich tomato flavor without the added sugar and calories.
Sugar-free ketchup can be used just like regular ketchup, making it a popular choice for those looking to reduce their sugar intake or manage diabetes. It is also a great option for those following a low-carb or keto diet.
G Hughes Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce
5 calories per tablespoon
G Hughes Sugar-Free BBQ sauce is a delicious and healthier option for barbecue lovers. It is made with a blend of high-quality ingredients, including tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, and spices.
This BBQ sauce has the same bold and smoky flavor as traditional sauces but without the added sugar and carbs. It is perfect for marinating, dipping, or using as a topping for all your favorite grilled meats and vegetables.
12 calories per tablespoon
Tomato salsa is a popular Mexican condiment made from chopped tomatoes, onions, and peppers. It can be mild or spicy, depending on the type of peppers used. Salsa is often served as a dip for chips or used as a topping for tacos, burritos, and other dishes.
It is a flavorful and versatile option that adds a burst of freshness to any meal. Additionally, homemade versions can easily be made with low-sugar or sugar-free ingredients for those looking to cut back on their sugar intake.
0 calories (yellow mustard)
Mustard is a tangy and versatile condiment made from ground mustard seeds, vinegar, and other spices. It comes in various forms including yellow, Dijon, honey, and spicy varieties. Mustard is commonly used as a spread on sandwiches or hot dogs, or as an ingredient in sauces and dressings.
It is also low in sugar and calories, making it a popular option for those looking to add flavor without adding extra sugar to their meals.
Other Low Calorie Sauces
Lemons are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, making lemon juice not only delicious but also beneficial for our health. A simple squirt of lime or lemon juice can add some acidity and flavor to whatever you’re eating.
Whether it’s fresh or bottled, some lemon or lime juice is a great option.
Low Sodium Soy Sauce
5 calories per tablespoon
Low-sodium soy sauce is a reduced-salt version of the popular Asian condiment. It is made from fermented soybeans and wheat but with less salt than traditional soy sauce.
This makes it a healthier alternative for those looking to lower their sodium intake without sacrificing flavor in their meals. Low-sodium soy sauce can be used as a marinade, dip, or ingredient in various dishes.
Sauces to avoid
While there are plenty of options to choose from for a low-calorie sauce, there are some common sauces you should avoid when trying to lose weight. Here are a few sauces to second guess:
120 calories per 2 tablespoons
Ranch dressing is a creamy, tangy salad dressing and dip that originated in the United States. It is typically made from a combination of buttermilk, mayonnaise, and herbs and spices such as garlic, dill, and parsley.
The combination of buttermilk and mayonnaise often results in a high-calorie dressing/sauce, making this a sauce to try to avoid.
Alternative: Greek Yogurt based ranch
90 calories per tablespoon
Mayonnaise, also known as mayo, is a thick and creamy condiment made from oil, egg yolks, and vinegar or lemon juice. It is commonly used as a spread on sandwiches and burgers or as an ingredient in various sauces and dressings.
Mayonnaise adds richness and moisture to dishes, but it can be high in calories and should be consumed in moderation.
Alternative: Greek Yogurt with some seasoning
170 calories per 2 tablespoons
Tartar sauce is a creamy and tangy condiment typically used as a dipping sauce for seafood dishes. It is made from mayonnaise, chopped pickles or relish, lemon juice, and herbs and spices such as dill, parsley, and mustard.
It is also a popular accompaniment to fried foods such as fish and chips but can sneak in some unwanted calories.
Alternative: Skinny Spatula’s healthy tartar sauce
High Sugar Sauces
Don’t get me wrong, sugar can make things taste great, but at a high cost. Most sugary sauces can add upwards of 200-300 extra calories when not used in moderation. Before grabbing a sauce at the grocery store, beware of the sugar content to avoid this mistake.
Some common high-sugar sauces can include:
- Most BBQ sauces
- “Fat-free” dressings
- Many Salad dressings
- Teriyaki sauces
Alternatives: Sugar-Free variations or healthy homemade sauces
Can you have sauce on a diet?
Yes! Sauces can add flavor to any dish, but as long as they are used in moderation or are low calorie sauces like the ones on the list.
Do sauces add a lot of calories?
Maybe. Sauces can add a lot of calories depending on the sauce you choose. Always look at the nutrition facts label to see how many calories a sauce can add per serving.
What sauces seem healthy, but are high calorie?
Many salad dressings seem low-calorie and healthy but are simply marketed to be. Ranch dressing, Thousand Island, and blue cheese dressing are some common high-calorie dressings that should be second-guessed before buying.
What are some high-calorie foods to avoid?
There are many foods to avoid when on a weight loss journey. Foods like pizza, and cheesecake, sugary drinks like soda, and heavily processed foods like TV dinners just to name a few.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, there are plenty of delicious and low calorie sauces you can make right in the comfort of your own home!
Sauces are a great flavor booster for any dish, but can often sneak in some unwanted calories to our day. Always be sure to read the nutrition facts label of anything before making a purchase decision if you want to lose weight.
So don’t be afraid to get cookin’ and whip up a batch of any one of these power-packed low-calorie sauces today. Your taste buds, stomach, and waistline won’t regret it!