Just a spoonful of Britain’s best-loved sauces can be eight times saltier than a portion of McDonald’s fries.
MailOnline researched the nutritional value of more than 30 condiments, including those made by Heinz, Hellmann’s and HP.
The analysis revealed that one tablespoon of soy sauce can contain almost half of the salt limit recommended by an adult per day. Meanwhile, the same amount of sweet chili sauce accounts for almost a third of a person’s daily sugar intake.
Dietitians warn that consuming too much salt or sugar can contribute to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
The full results of our audit can be found in the interactive graphic below.
Hover over each product to see the exact number of calories, fat, salt and sugar per 100 g/ml.
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Kikkoman soy sauce topped the salt charts, containing 16.9g of salt per 100ml.
However, in real terms, this equates to 5g per two tablespoons, a common serving size when used in a stir-fry.
Equally high salt levels lurked in Amoy Dark Soy Sauce (15.8g per 100ml), Colman’s English Mustard (8.4g per 100g) and Tabasco Sriracha Sauce (6.7g per 100ml). ).
For comparison, a medium serving of McDonald’s fries contains 0.62 g.
When broken down pound for pound, this equates to 0.54 g per 100 g, meaning some sauces are up to 31 times saltier.
Eating more than the NHS recommended 6g of salt per day can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
About three-quarters of the salt in our diet comes from packaged foods.
Victoria Taylor, director of nutrition at the British Heart Foundation, told MailOnline: “Most of us eat too much salt.
“You might think you don’t have to worry about salt if you don’t add it to your food, but most of the salt we consume is already in the foods we buy, including condiments.”
While people who occasionally eat condiments in the recommended servings should be fine, the high salt content can build up when used over time, Taylor said.
Ms. Taylor recommended low-salt homemade alternatives, such as a tzatziki-style sauce that mixes low-fat natural yogurt, garlic and chopped cucumber.
Soy sauce is high in salt because it is one of the main ingredients used to make the seasoning, along with soy and wheat. In addition to stir-fries, soy sauce is often served with sushi, fried rice, and meatballs.
A Kikkoman spokesperson said: “All soy sauces contain a large amount of salt, which is intrinsic to the product’s characteristic flavor profile.
“However, there is some scientific research that shows that substituting soy sauce for salt can help reduce overall salt consumption.”
But hot sauces and mustard are also full of salt.
Colman’s mustard contains 8.4g of salt per 100g, or the equivalent of 0.42g in a single serving, which according to the package is 5g.
Tabasco Siracha Hot Chili Sauce contains 6.7 g of salt per 100 ml. However, a typical one-teaspoon serving contains 0.3 g.
There is also a surprising amount of sugar in the tasty sauces.
Blue Dragon Original Thai Sweet Chili Sauce contains 54.7g of sugars in a 100ml serving, or 16.4g in a two-tablespoon serving.
Meanwhile, in 100 g of Heinz tomato ketchup there are 22.8 g. That’s about 6.8g in a two-tablespoon serving.
To put this in context, health officials recommend consuming no more than 30 grams of free sugars per day, which are those added to foods and drinks.
The large amount of fat, salt and sugar contained in condiments can give your food an extra kick, but it can be detrimental to your heart health.
For comparison, a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donut contains 12g of sugar, while a can of Coca-Cola has 35g.
Too much sugar increases the risk of cavities and weight gain.
Meanwhile, creamy condiments like mayonnaise, salad dressing, and tartar sauce contain a lot of fat.
100 g of Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise contains 79 g of fat and 6.2 g of saturated fat. That’s 11 g of fat and 0.9 g of saturated fat per tablespoon.
That’s almost half the fat of McDonald’s medium fries, which contain 17 g of fat and 1.5 g of saturated fat.
Brits are told to limit saturated fat to 20g for women and 30g for men.
This is because eating too much over time can increase cholesterol, which, in turn, increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.