Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, I can’t not like hot sauce. Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper sauce can be found in every cabinet in the 716, and before Beyoncé made it popular, I used to carry it in my bag to make school lunches more tolerable. But it turns out my beloved sauce has a whopping 190 mg of sodium! Considering the average person isn’t drinking glasses of hot sauce, that number isn’t the worst, but we know we can do much better.
Nutritionist Andrea Mathis, RDN, says while there might not be much nutritional value to hot sauce, there are certainly hot sauces that are better for you than others.
“Even though most hot sauce is very low in calories and fat, there are still are few other factors to consider when choosing the best option and those factors are sodium content and the amount of artificial ingredients,” she says. “I like to choose a hot sauce that has a moderate-to low-amount of sodium and is made with natural ingredients.”
The healthy hot sauces you should put on everything
Mathis says this one stands out because of its simplicity. “I love it because you only have to use a little bit to get that perfect spicy flavor, and it only contains approximately 35mg of sodium per serving,” she says. “It also contains no artificial ingredients.”
2. True Made Foods Veracha, $10
Angela Lemond RDN, loves this vegetable sriracha. “True Made foods is an up-and-coming company that makes marinades, BBQ sauces and hot sauces without added sugar,” says Lemond. “They use pureed fruits and veggies to add flavor.”
3. Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Sauce, $4
Trader Joe’s always ranks high on Mathis’ list for healthy eats, and although it contains a bit of (natural) sugar, Mathis says it’s still good in her book due to its low sodium content and natural ingredients. “This sauce is spicy, creamy and completely vegan,” she says. “It provides a nice heat to any recipe without being overwhelmingly spicy. ”
This hot sauce has a unique blend of Caribbean and Tex-Mex Flavors, and Mathis likes it because it contains just 35mg of sodium. Lemond adds that it has potential with lots of great ingredients, but warns agains the added sugars, which she says are often in sauces and marinades.
5. Cholula Hot Sauce, $3
This is one of Mathis’ favorites because it tastes more like a spicy picante sauce, and contains very few artificial ingredients. However, with 110mg of sodium, it’s on the higher-sodium end of this list.
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