Avoiding processed foods is always best.
But what about all of the delicious condiments that we’ve grown accustomed to using? What’s in them and are there any healthier options?
Here’s a quick list of typical condiment replacements that are non-GMO, gluten free, and dairy free!
CONDIMENT: Soy Sauce
This contains both gluten and genetically modified soy. FYI ALL soy is genetically modified in America unless you see the non-GMO butterfly or USDA organic symbol on the package.
REPLACEMENT: Tamari (multiple brands) or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
This contains vegetable oil, milk, soy, and many other ingredients that you can’t pronounce!
REPLACEMENT: Organic Butter or Ghee
You should always buy organic dairy when possible. This is even more important than buying organic fruits and veggies, since butter is a fat and fats love to hold on to toxins and the cows were most likely fed antibiotics. Did you know that you can get a higher dose of antibiotics from your dairy and meats than if you actually took them for being sick?? For those of you who are sensitive to dairy or lactose-intolerant, try Ghee! It’s clarified butter, which means it has the milk solids removed, which is where the casein (milk protein) and lactose are located, which is most often what people react to!
Did you know amongst the ingredients of typical ketchup is high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors?
REPLACEMENT: Organic Ketchup or Xyla Ketchup
Organic ketchup is made with real sugar and real organic tomatoes. For those diabetics out there and others watching their sugar intake, try Xyla Ketchup, which is sweetened with Xylitol instead of sugar. Xyla has a whole line of condiments that replace sugar with xylitol, a sugar alcohol.
CONDIMENT: White Sugar
REPLACEMENT: Stevia, Brown Rice Syrup, Sugar alcohols (end in ‘ol), Blackstrap Molasses, Maple Syrup, Honey, Raw Sugar
Everyone needs something sweet here and there, especially for baking! Instead of using bleached sugar, try one or more of the options above. If buying stevia, remember to buy it in the liquid form, as this is more pure. Note that any syrup form of sugar (brown rice, maple syrup, honey) is very sweet so use in moderation. Blackstrap molasses is another option that is lower in sugar but is high in nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, B6, and selenium. It can taste bitter, and is better used for savory dishes like pulled pork or baked beans.
CONDIMENT: Salad Dressing
Did you know that most salad dressing contains dairy, vegetable oil and/or canola oil and/or soybean oil (GMO), MSG, and sugar?
REPLACEMENT: Make your own salad dressing or buy organic options.
Making your own dressing takes no time at all. Make a larger quantity and keep it in the refrigerator for future use. All you need is olive oil, vinegar (apple cider vinegar is amazing for you digestive system), salt, pepper, and whatever spices you live from garlic, to red pepper flakes, to oregano. There are a lot of recipes available online!
CONDIMENT: Vegetable oil
REPLACEMENT: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocado oil, Coconut oil, Sesame oil (these are your most versatile options)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Be sure to buy an oil that is in a dark (to prevent oxidation in the light), glass bottle. Avoiding plastic bottles if possible when you buy any oil (or really any product in general) is very important, as phthalates and other harmful chemicals are leached from the plastic into the oil/food itself. DO NOT buy any sort of olive oil that is “Light” – this is not lighter on calories but it is lower in nutrients. Check the label and be sure that the oil comes from just ONE country. EVOO is good for medium-high heat. If you are cooking for a longer period at high heat, avocado or coconut oil are better options.
Avocado oil: This is the best oil for frying foods and other high heat methods of cooking. Again, be sure to buy it in a dark, glass bottle.
Coconut oil: I’m sure by now you’re very familiar with coconut oil, as it has been very trendy as of late. It is so popular because it can be used at higher heats, can be used as a replacement for butter in baking, it has antimicrobial properties, and it can be used for various other applications such as a hair/skin treatment or even a natural personal lubrication.
Sesame oil: This is a delicious option for “Asian-inspired” cooking and sauces. Be sure to buy this in a metal container in a cool place.
Did you know this is actually dairy free, but it’s main ingredient is GMO oil (soybean/ canola oil)?
REPLACEMENT: Safflower Mayonnaise or Organic Mayonnaise
Safflower Mayonnaise does not contain soybean or canola oil, but is made from, you guess it, safflower oil! Organic mayonnaise that is USDA Organic may contain soybean/canola oil that is usually GMO, but because it is USDA organic that certifies that it is not GMO. Keep in mind that canola oil, even when it is not GMO, can still be inflammatory.
Did you know that this contains high fructose corn syrup?
REPLACEMENT: Natural Bread and Butter Pickles chopped up
Even though Bread and Butter Pickles are higher in sugar, some times you need that sweetness for that special sandwich, hotdog, etc. Check your label and be sure it doesn’t contain HFCS. You can also make your own pickles, and there’s multiple recipes online!