Ketchup, just like other condiments, is usually given a free ride when people talk about the unhealthiest foods in the world. One reason is that they are offered only a spoonful, so they are overlooked.
And ketchup is mostly viewed as harmless because we eat such small quantities of them. Because we don’t eat a lot of ketchup, it means their negative effects are negligible, right? WRONG.
While condiments, like ketchup, can make a lot of foods taste better – French fries, burgers, hot dogs, you name it – they can also become a problem. Whether or not you are having a nutritious meal, ketchup can unfortunately turn what you are eating into a metabolic nightmare – even if you have just one tablespoon of ketchup at a time.
So What’s So Bad about Ketchup?
If you look at the ingredients found in the label of your favorite brand of ketchup, you will mostly read the following:
- Tomato concentrate
- High fructose corn syrup
- Corn syrup
- Onion powder
Apart from vinegar and onion powder, there are a lot of things wrong with the listed ingredients above:
- Tomato Concentrate: Tomatoes are good for you, but if they’re exposed to high heat for several hours and are cooked again and again without the seeds and skin, their vitamins and minerals will no longer be present.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): This ingredient can be summarized in one word: sugar. Fructose is a type of sugar that is bad for our health, but is found almost everywhere. Why is it bad? It is one of the main causes of obesity as well as type 2 diabetes.
- Corn Syrup: It’s the same as HFCS sadly.
- Salt: Too much salt is never good for us as it can cause problems with the blood pressure, among many others.
- Spices and Other Natural Flavors: Spices are not bad and so are natural flavors. But what are they? Most ketchup brands don’t even specify what’s in their product.
But the negative facts about ketchup don’t stop there. Most of the corn, from 70% to 85%, is genetically modified, which means they have been treated with pesticides and other chemicals. So what does corn have to do with ketchup? It may be surprising to learn that at least five ingredients in every ketchup brand are made from or with corn, including HCFS, corn syrup, tomato concentrate, and even vinegar.
While ketchup may not be completely evil, especially if you don’t really eat that much, you should still be mindful about portion control. One to two packets are enough, since adding ketchup can encourage you to eat more than you should.