Be it with pizza, burgers, pasta, fries, or scrambled eggs, ketchup is a basic necessity for these dishes. A delicious dollop of ketchup makes our meals much more enjoyable, increases our appetite and makes our mouths water. Some die-hard fans of tomato ketchup even add it to the food they cook, to give a tinge of that tangy taste and make it look more drool-worthy. Ketchup, literally, is almost everywhere!
However, have you ever wondered about its nutritional value before squeezing it out on your food? Have you ever checked what ingredients are used in what quantities, and which brand of ketchup is a safer one?
What Are The Ingredients?
Always turn over the ketchup bottle to check what all ingredients have been used and in what quantities. If the quantities are not mentioned, remember that the listing of the ingredients are generally done from the highest quantity to the lowest.
For instance, take a look at the list below that says which ingredients are used in making a certain ketchup in the market:
1. Tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes
2. Distilled vinegar
3. High fructose corn syrup
4. Corn syrup
7. Onion powder
8. Natural flavoring
Tomato concentrate from ripe red tomatoes is of the highest quantity, while natural flavoring is of the least quantity. You must know that tomato concentrate from ripe red tomatoes is just a fancy way of saying “processed tomatoes that have lost their nutritional value completely.” By putting in adjectives like ripe and red, the producers are just making a fool of the consumers.
Another deadly ingredient in the list is high fructose corn syrup. The producer has mentioned the use of corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup separately; however, these ingredients are just the same thing and that is high fructose corn syrup. These are tricks followed by brands, to add natural-sounding adjectives and dividing an ingredient into two similar names where one sounds healthier than the other. The truth of the above list is the list given below:
1. High fructose corn syrup
2. Tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes
3. Distilled vinegar
6. Onion powder
7. Natural flavoring
Since nobody would buy a condiment that is high in sugar, the producers tricked the customers by modifying the list. Also, many people are not aware how harmful is corn syrup. The recent list only indicates that 1 tablespoon of this type of ketchup is consuming 7% sugar only, and a large portion of your daily requirement of sodium. Also, 1 tablespoon of ketchup is too less and people tend to use 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time.
What Is High Fructose Corn Syrup?
One of the main ingredients of ketchup made by some brands, high fructose corn syrup is extremely toxic for our health. This syrup is derived from genetically modified corn, and it not only spikes up the blood sugar levels in a person but also damages the liver over time. Too much sugar intake leads to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and much more.
The FDA has also found that high fructose corn syrup also contains high level of mercury, a toxic element that can affect the nervous system completely and lead to autism in children.
Usage Of Sugar And Distilled Vinegar
The vinegar that you use for your salads is not distilled vinegar. Distilled vinegar is made from GMO corn which is bred with chemicals and pesticides and is a bane for our health. Apart from high fructose corn syrup derived from GMO corn, these brands are using GMO corn to make distilled vinegar as well. Also, a lot of sugar is added apart from the corn syrup used.
No Nutritional Value At All
Some brands of ketchup provide hardly any nutritional value at all. There is no protein, no minerals, and no fiber content in them. All they contain is sugar in various forms, sodium from the cheapest salt, and a lousy 2% vitamins which are Vitamin A and Vitamin C. However, this 2% is nothing in comparison to all the sugar and sodium they are made of.
Avoid Ketchup With Such Ingredients
Do not fret; there are many organic, healthier options available in the market as well, and they are made from non-GMO corns. So, avoid the ketchup that mentions these ingredients on the back of the bottle. The ketchup that does not contain such weird amounts of weird products are not detrimental for your health.