Is It Healthy: Hot Sauce

Is this popular condiment healthy? Get the facts.

A little goes a long way but is this fiery sauce worth the heat? Here are the cool facts.

Yes?

One teaspoon of hot sauce has zero calories, 6 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C and 119 milligrams of sodium. This condiment helps spice up dishes for very few calories.

Hot sauce gets its burn from a compound found in hot peppers known as capsaicin. The spiciness of hot sauce depends on the type of chili pepper and spices used. That’s why the heat (and capsaicin) will vary from brand to brand.

Although some folks believe spicy foods including hot sauce is a stomach irritant, researchers believe that capsaicin can help decrease the risk of peptic ulcers. Though too much can also irritate your stomach -- the ideal amount still needs to be further studied. Studies have shown that it can slightly increase your metabolism several hours after eating.

No?

Too much hot sauce can just be unpleasantly overpowering. It’s also extremely irritating to the eyes -- am I the only one whose rubbed my eyes after touching hot sauce? OUCH!

Hot sauce also has sodium— if you’re adding tablespoons at a time, the milligrams can quickly add up.

There is a lot of misconception about the weight loss effects of capsaicin. Although it will help slightly increase your metabolism after consuming, it will not help melt the calories magically away.

The Verdict?

Don’t be afraid of the heat! A little goes a long way; no need to go overboard. Add a dash of hot sauce to soups, sauces, sandwiches, chicken wings, burgers, nachos, quesadillas, tacos or to a bloody Mary.

TELL US: We're planning a hot sauce taste test. What's your favorite brand?
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