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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Condiment Crazy

The photo of the jar is an artichoke, red pepper tapenade I adore! It provides just 20 calories for 2 Tbsp but is loaded with flavor. I whipped up this delicious side dish (2nd photo) in minutes by adding a Tbsp of tapenade per cup of fresh yellow wax beans. Total number of ingredients: 2 (pretty easy huh? I just steamed them, tossed in tapenade, and served). Total number of calories: 150 (for 3 cups – think 3 baseballs)! Tapenades and pestos are two of my very favorite condiments. They taste and feel so rich, but provide few calories per serving, and are minimally processed (most have just a few ingredients and little to no sodium).

Tapenade and pesto varieties I’ve experimented with include green and black olive, roasted red pepper, sundried tomato, artichoke, mushroom, and even butternut squash. I typically toss them with steamed veggies (such as broccoli with sundried tomato pesto, or French cut green beans with green olive pesto), or use in them to spruce up sandwiches, pitas, and wraps.

Of course many condiments can add hundreds of calories (like mayo), but some are 100% calorie free (while still managing to transform a dish from drab to fab). Here are more of my favorite low cal condiment choices, and how I use them:

On sandwiches:
Horseradish – 0 calories per tsp
Tabasco – 0 calories per Tbsp
Spicy brown mustard – 5 calories per tsp
Relish – 5 calories per tsp
Minced garlic in water – 30 calories per Tbsp
As dips:
Cocktail sauce – 5 calories per tsp
Vinegar - 10 calories per Tbsp
Salsa – 10 calories per 2 Tbsp
Marinara sauce – 40 calories per quarter cup
Hummus – 50 calories per 2 Tbsp

Happy healthy eating!
P.S. I'm Prevention Magazine's Eat Healthier, Feel Better expert for the New Year. Click here to check out the free 8 week Make This Your Year program.
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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