5 of the Healthiest Hot Sauces to Spice Up Your Food

When you crave spice, it’s a no-brainer to reach for a bottle of hot sauce and give it a few shakes over your food. But if you’re also trying to be healthy, you should know that not all hot sauces are created equal. The only way to know for sure if yours is nutritionally sound is to pay attention to the label.

Most hot sauces are made up of vinegar, seasonings and the magic ingredient: chili peppers. In addition to supplying vitamins, the peppers contain something called capsaicin, which boosts feel-good endorphin levels and can even help you manage your weight. What you don’t want are high levels of sodium or sugar. Check out the below list to help you select your next bottle:

  1. Tabasco Original Red Sauce: This hot sauce is one of the most popular in America and was created in 1868 in Louisiana. Tabasco adds a peppery punch and, while hot, isn’t quite as fiery as an habanero-based sauce. Ingredients: distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt; 35 mg of sodium and 0 calories in 1 teaspoon
  2. Dr. Stadnyk’s Hot Sauce: This sauce was created by a physician from Houston in 2008 and is made up of 100 percent natural ingredients. It has a medium-level of heat and there are carrots in it to brighten up the flavor. Ingredients: organic carrots, habanero peppers, kosher salt, organic vinegar; 30mg sodium and 0 calories in 1 teaspoon
  3. Clancy’s Fancy Hot Sauce: Originating here in Ann Arbor, this hot sauce was created during an attempt to make tofu taste like pepperoni (strange but true!). Staying true to Michigan, the sauce features Michigan wildflower honey and other local ingredients. Plus you can choose between mild, hot and extra hot. Ingredients: apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, Michigan honey, cayenne peppers, fresh garlic, organic wheat-free tamari, boulin concentrate, fresh ginger juice, cayenne peppers, cultured dextrose (a natural preservative), citric acid; 35mg sodium and 15 calories in 1 teaspoon
  4. Melinda’s Original Habanero Hot Sauce: This is a vegetable-based hot sauce made with natural flavors that is a perfect balance between lots of heat and refreshing tartness. Ingredients: habanero peppers, carrots, onions, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, salt; 100mg sodium and 0 calories in 1 teaspoon
  5. Crystal Hot Sauce: Try this hot sauce if you crave simplicity (there are only three ingredients) but want a slightly different taste than Tabasco. It was created in the early 1920s by Alvin Baumer and the line also includes steak and teriyaki sauces. Ingredients: Aged red cayenne peppers, distilled vinegar, salt; 135mg sodium and 0 calories in 1 teaspoon

Interested in other ways you can spice up mealtime? Check out these posts:

Is your goal to eat healthier without losing flavor? Check out #HealthyMe, a personalized web experience based on your health and wellness goals. To sign up today, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/healthyme.

 

 

Photo credit: Ginny

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