Dressing down condiments in a healthy diet

Healthy eating helps to avert your risk of type 2 diabetes. We all love a good, nutritious meal and often one may choose to add a little additional flavour. But do some of the nation’s favourite condiments and dressings hold water as ‘friendly’ foodstuffs for those who want to curb their T2D risk, or are they simply too saucy?


We start with what is possibly the condiment king, and certainly the most recognisable condiment in the UK. Used in a variety of dishes, ketchup is generally low in calories and contains no fat whatsoever. However, a single 17g teaspoon contains 3.7g of sugar – which is around 15% of your daily recommended sugar intake!


There are several popular types of mustard to consider. The British variety of mustard contains around 0.7g of sugar in a regular 5g serving – alongside very small amounts of saturated fat and salt. American-style mustards contain less than 0.1g of sugar in a 5g serving. Dijon mustard usually contains only trace amounts of sugar and saturated fats within a 5g serving, making it the healthiest choice of the three.


Your bog-standard vinegar contains a whopping 1 calorie per teaspoon, and only trace amounts of sugar and fat – it’s a perfect choice for a healthy dressing. Do keep in mind that certain flavoured vinegars may contain more fat or sugar, so be sure to check the label when you shop!

Brown Sauce

A traditional choice of condiment in some areas of Britain, brown sauce is low in saturated fat containing only trace amounts, but also contains around 3.5g of sugar in a 15g teaspoon. Consider a different kind of dollop for your foods.


A recommended 4g serving of UK Marmite contains only trace amounts of sugar and 9 calories. Some love it, some hate it, but ultimately a relatively healthy spread for breakfast!


The average teaspoon of mayo contains 0.1g of sugar, however it does contain 1.6g of saturated fat. With that in mind, do be wary of the amount of mayo you consume when you’re dressing up healthy salads.

The average salad cream is lower in fat with only trace amounts of saturated fat, and also contains 2g of sugar per 15g serving.

Barbeque sauce

A 17g teaspoon of barbeque sauce contains a massive 6g of sugar – it may be low in fat, but that generates 29 calories. Given the high sugar content in this sauce, it’s best to keep this as a treat if you are serious about making life changing updates to your diet.