Sometimes it’s not the food we eat that’s the problem, it’s the stuff we put on the food. Today we’re going to be looking at one of the biggest condiment culprits… ketchup!
I love ketchup, I put it on everything. So this one hits home for me.
Tomatoes are healthy, right?
Ketchup is primarily made of tomatoes. So you would think that it’s not too bad for you. We all know that it’s also full of sugar, but tomatoes are vegetables, right? So at least you’re getting the nutrients from those…
Well not when you boil them to death! 💀
Ketchup is basically made from very over cooked tomatoes that have lost all of their nutritional value, some water and a LOT of sugar.
The sugar in ketchup is worth a closer look. Because, although it starts out as sugar (which is already bad) before it goes into the bottle it’s processed into high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which is much worse!
On top of this, we have flavourings, such as MSG, that make us want it more.
How MSG earned me a kiss! 😘
It seems that MSG is in absolutely everything. I remember many years ago, I was on a date with a girl I’d been chasing for the better part of a year. We were feeding each other Malteasers and she challenge me to guess the ingredients.
I riddled of a few of the obvious ones, then I rolled the malteaser around in my mouth as though trying to pick up another flavour, before announcing ‘monosodium glutamate?’ She immediately scrutinised the ingredients and was stunned by my super-tasting ability, which earned me a kiss!!
I’m probably the only person on Earth that’s even gotten something good out of MSG (well me and the entire food manufacturing industry that use it to make us addicted to their products!)
So, ketchup is bad. It’s only decent ingredient has long lost its value and all of the additional stuff has been linked to countless health issues, such as…
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is linked to:
- Heart Disease
..and it has absolutely no nutritional value. It just makes things sweet, so you eat more of them.
Is MSG really bad for you?
If you do a quick search on MSG, there are a lot of articles saying that it has a bad rep but it really isn’t that bad for you. Then you’ll stumble into this quote:
“It’s probably one of the most harmful substances that one can eat,”Michael Galitzer MD
I honestly think that there’s a little bit of a conspiracy going on, trying to prevent most folk from discovering the truth about MSG. So that we keep eating products that are full of it.
MSG can cause something called a ‘Leaky Gut’ 😳🤮 which sounds revolting and is linked to
- Diarrhea 💩
- Abdominal pain
I have to admit, on many occasions I’ve had all of those, especially after indulging in a greasy takeaway.
Healthy Ketchup alternatives
So, back to ketchup. We love it. We want to keep eating it. But we don’t want ‘Leaky Gut’ (which sounds like a condition from the ‘Theme Hospital’ like ‘Bloaty Head!’)
The best alternative to shop bought ketchup is to make your own.
If you fancy giving that a go, then check out this video from this ‘sun-kissed’ surfer dude that’s just stepped out of the salon…
If you simply don’t have time for that, then there are a couple of shop bought ketchups that are a healthier option.
Back in 2010 ConAgra removed the HFCS from their ketchup (Hunt’s Ketchup) but they added it back a couple of years later. Why? Well I think that they were trying to cash in on peoples growing awareness of the dangers of HFCS and hoping that their healthier option would earn them a greater share of the market.
I don’t for one second think that they did it out of concern for our health.
Obviously, it didn’t work, because they put it back. But people are constantly becoming more health conscious, so maybe they’ll give it another go when they decide that the public is ready for it. It’s certainly worth picking up a bottle and checking the ingredients every now and then.
Give Tomato Puree a try
Another option, but not a very tasty one, is to use tomato puree in place of ketchup. In recipes this works perfectly, but as a condiment it’s really not the same. Tomato puree isn’t as sweet and has a very strong flavour. But play with it, add a little sweeter and see what you come up with. I’m pretty sure that whatever you do it’ll be a lot healthier than any branded ketchup!
Just don’t boil all of the nutrients away, load it with HFCS and lace it with ‘gut-leaking’ MSG! Aside of that, go crazy… even adding some (deadly) sugar will still produce a healthier ketchup than the one you’re using now.
Tomato puree (mixed with a sweetener) is a great alternative to making your own ketchup as it lasts a lot longer than fresh tomatoes, takes up less room in your fridge and its easy to rustle up in a few seconds as needed. They it, and let em know how it goes.