Posted on: May 27, 2016 at 6:33 am
Last updated: September 14, 2017 at 4:42 pm

The Hearty Soul is pleased to offer our readers a FREE 12 oz. jar of avocado oil mayonnaise through Thrive Market, an online grocery store that delivers organic, healthy, non-GMO foods right to your doorstep! Take advantage of this great offer today

Slathering store-bought condiments on top of your food, is probably not what you want to be doing.

A majority of commercially prepared condiments are not real food, but rather a blend of chemicals engineered to taste good, induce cravings, and make money—but offer you nothing in terms of nutrition.

They are loaded with excess sugar, salt, preservatives, dyes, texture and flavor enhancers, and a good deal of genetically engineered ingredients, ALL of which should be avoided whenever possible.

Here are the top ten most common, and most harmful condiments you should remove from your pantry as soon as possible.

1. Ketchup

Of course, America’s family favorite ketchup is going to be on the list because it is loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients.

Just one tablespoon of store-bought ketchup contains four grams of sugar. Most people use much more than this and easily reach their daily fructose limit. (25 grams or less)

Do not fear! I am not telling you to give up ketchup completely, that would be pure craziness. Personally, I could not live without the sweet addition to my hot sandwiches and burgers.

The easy way around all the processed baddies is to simply make your own ketchup. This way you can control the amount, and type of sweetener being used. Homemade ketchup is much better in every way, than anything that’s been bottled commercially.

Healthy Homemade Ketchup:

Prep time: 2 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes.

What You Need:

  • 1 cup Organic Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut or brown sugar
  • 1 pinch each cinnamon, cayenne pepper, all-spice, ground clove, ground mustard

What to Do:

  1. Bring tomato sauce to a boil and reduce (let the evaporation make it thicker- more like a paste than a sauce)
  2. Whisk in vinegar, sugar and spices. Simmer for 3-4 more minutes.
  3. Let cool, store in the fridge in an air-tight container. Enjoy within 2 weeks.

2. Agave Nectar

Many people have started using Agave Nectar as a substitute for honey. Thinking that it is  healthier and lighter in calories than honey.

I’m about to burst that bubble…

Agave Nectar is so highly processed that it is stripped of its nutritional value. Surprisingly, it contains more fructose than high-fructose corn syrup and is dangerous for those with high blood sugar.

My recommendation? Switch back to honey or try using coconut nectar, or unsulphered black strap molasses. Both are natural sweeteners.


3. Sweet Relish

The sweet, tangy flavor of relish is an unavoidable addition for some.  You know where I’m going with this…

Store-bought relish is almost solely derived from artificial colors, preservatives and sugars. Lots and lots of sugar.

Try this at-home relish substitution.

4. Healthy Homemade Relish Recipe


  • 4  cups finely chopped cucumbers.
  • 2  cups finely chopped onions.
  • 1  green bell pepper, finely chopped.
  • 1  red bell pepper, finely chopped.
  • 1/4  cup pickling or fine sea salt.
  • 2 cups cider vinegar.
  • 3  cups sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon celery seeds.
  • 1  tablespoon mustard seeds.


  1. Combine the cucumbers, onions, and green and red bell peppers in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and toss. Cover with cold water. Let stand for at least 2 hours. Drain well.
  2. Combine the cider vinegar, sugar, celery seeds, and mustard seeds in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the vegetables and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Pack into clean hot half-pint canning jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles and seal.
  4. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Let cool undisturbed for 12 hours. Store in a cool, dry place. Do not open for at least 6 weeks to allow the flavors to develop.

5. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise comes in many popular brands. Hellman’s and miracle whip, to name a few. No matter your preference, Mayonnaise is not a healthy condiment. It is high in refined, processed vegetable oils.

One tablespoon of typical mayonnaise contains about 90 calories. That is roughly 4.5 percent of your daily recommended calorie intake in a single tablespoon. Each tablespoon of mayonnaise contains 10 g of total fat, which is 15.4 percent of your daily recommended intake, and 1.5 g of saturated fat, which is 7.5 percent of your daily recommended intake.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, eating too much saturated fat can drastically increase your risk of developing harmful health conditions, such as heart disease.

If the idea of eliminating Mayonnaise from your diet is absolutely appalling, then you’ll want to try this alternative: avocado oil mayonnaise. Thrive Market’s organic avocado mayo has only 5 ingredients:  avocado oil, free-range eggs, organic beet vinegar, sea salt and rosemary extract. Boasting loads of Vitamin E and omega-9 fatty acids, avocado oil is a much better alternative to the standard kind that sits in grocery shelves (and it’s dairy free!).

free avocado mayonnaise

6. Soy Sauce:

Soy sauce is loaded with sodium and soy, and can interfere with digestion and mess with hormones.

Modern soy sauces may also contain dangerous levels of chemicals known as chloropropanols, which are produced when soy sauce production is sped up using acid hydrolyation methods. In Great Britain, back in 2001, nearly 25 percent of commercial soy sauces were found to contain dangerous levels of these chemicals, and the products were recalled.

Researchers have also found furanones in commercial soy sauce. These are mutagenic to bacteria and cause DNA damage in lab tests. Salsolinol, a neurotoxin linked to DNA damage and chromosomal aberrations, Parkinson’s disease and Cancer, has been identified in soy sauce.

Alright,  now that I’ve put the fear of God in you, I’ll tell you about an equally tasty alternative.

Two words: coconut aminos. Not only is it a soy-free option, it’s much less salty and has a more versatile flavor than soy sauce. Coconut aminos are unprocessed and don’t come with the added sugar that you’ll find in soy sauce.

7. “Light” Salad Dressings:

Light salad dressings are one of the most deceiving, yet commonly purchased food items. The fat-free label leads us to believe that it is better for our bodies than the full-fat options.

However, “Light” salad dressings replace the “fat” with loads of artificial sugar, sugar preservatives and sodium & sugar.


What’s your alternative you ask?

Simply purchase the regular full-fat brand, or make your own dressing from home using all natural ingredients.

Healthy Vinaigrette:


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Combine vinegar, shallots, salt, Dijon mustard, and pepper. Gradually add olive oil, stirring until incorporated.

8. Sour Cream

As you have probably deduced. There are tons of chemical fillers used in store-bought condiments. Fillers which do nothing to promote your health.

Non-organic dairy products often contain dangerous genetically engineered growth hormones, or RBGH’s.

RBGH is the largest selling dairy animal drug in America. But it is banned in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and in the 27 countries of the European Union, because of its risks to human health.

It increases your risk for breast cancer by promoting conversion of normal breast tissue cells into cancerous ones.

Well, in order to avoid all the ugliness of store-bought sour cream, you can easily substitute it for something else. Plain yogurt has a similar  consistency to sour cream, but is much lower in fat per serving. A 1/2-cup serving of low-fat plain yogurt contains 1.75 grams of fat, of which 1.1 grams are saturated. Yogurt supplies a healthy dose of bone-building calcium and phosphorus as well.

9. BBQ Sauce and Steak Sauce

Like the rest of the condiments already discussed, steak and BBQ sauces may contain a mixture of unsavory ingredients. For example, take a look at the one of the most popular, A1 Steak Sauce.

“Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, raisin paste, crushed orange puree, spices and herbs, dried garlic and onion, caramel color, potassium sorbate, xanthan gum.”

Other bottled meat sauces contain a variety of agents and dyes that really shouldn’t be in your food.


Of course, my recommendation is to make your own sauce from the comfort of your own. You can avoid all the harmful ingredients and feel proud of what you’ve made.

Healthy All-American BBQ Sauce:


  • 3/4 cup ketchup  (like the kind you made with tomato sauce!)
  • 3/4 cup beer, preferably porter
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients except the hot sauce in a heavy medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in hot sauce.

10. Pancake Syrup

Mmm mmmm good.

Personally, one of my families’ favorites for brunch, special occasions, and holidays. We actually prefer to stick with good, natural maple syrup, and stay far-far away from synthetic stuff.

The first three ingredients on most artificial “maple” syrups is different forms of sugar. Half a cup of Some brands can contain a monstrous 438 calories, and 107 grams of sugar. YIKES!

While condiments do add extra calories, they can also influence people to eat more of the food in general. In One recent study, when researchers added things like ketchup to fries and whipped cream to brownies, subjects ate between 25% to 40%  more of the item itself.

The solution?

Stick to the real, ooey gooey stuff. Kick Aunt Jemima to the curb.

11. Ranch Dressing

The top-selling variety of dressing in the USA for the past 20 years. The beloved topping contains zero vitamins, and only one percent of the daily-recommended value of calcium. A ½ cup adds nearly 600 calories to your meal. And don’t EVEN get me started on when its used a dip for pizza and French fries…

Basically, Ranch is not nutritious, (which I’m sure you knew) it’s biggest fault comes with its overuse. Pouring a glob on your plate or salad makes it almost impossible to measure the amount you’re using.

One of the healthiest alternatives to Ranch, is Olive oil & vinegar dressing. It limits your exposure to the trans fats in Ranch dressing and is lighter in calories.

Olive Oil & Vinegar Salad Dressing


  1. Combine a teaspoon of olive oil with white, apple cider or balsamic vinegar to create a dressing with a bold flavor.
  2. Add minced garlic and fresh herbs, such as thyme or basil, to enhance the taste of the homemade dressing even more. Use the combination on fresh greens or steamed vegetables.

Overall, homemade condiments are always an effective way to limit your intake of chemicals, fat and sugar.

Why wouldn’t you want to try it.


Do it now.

The Hearty Soul is pleased to offer our readers a FREE 12 oz. jar of avocado oil mayonnaise through Thrive Market, an online grocery store that delivers organic, healthy, non-GMO foods right to your doorstep! Take advantage of this great offer today

free avocado mayonnaise

The Hearty Soul
Health Network
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