Store-bought condiments: How they affect our health

Hot ketchup has been found to potentially boost male fertility. 

Aug 6, 2022 - 13:16
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Store-bought condiments: How they affect our health

Although we wouldn't say it, sauces can have a beneficial effect on physical and mental health. Nutritionist Signe Svanfeldt shared the health benefits of popular side dishes that people most often consume with their meals.


Hot ketchup has been found to potentially boost male fertility. The antioxidant lycopene, which gives tomatoes their color, can increase sperm count by up to 70 percent, according to a study conducted at the University of Sheffield. A 2002 American study of 47,000 men found that eating ketchup two or more times a week could also reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer by about 20 percent. However, Signe warns that ketchup sometimes contains large amounts of added sugar. She says, "If you want to reduce your sugar intake, find a product with no or reduced added sugar."


Mustard is considered one of the oldest known sauces in the world, and historical records suggest that it originated in ancient Egypt. Mustard is packed with selenium and magnesium, which may have anti-inflammatory properties. Some research has also found that fenugreek seeds can protect against bacteria and fungi, such as Escherichia coli.

However, other studies claim that mustard has no protective effects. Additionally, variations of mustard can be high in sodium, so it should be eaten in moderation. "High sodium intake can raise blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular disease," Signe warned. On the other hand, sweeter mustard contains a high proportion of sugar, which can also increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and weight gain.


Despite being considered unhealthy due to its high-fat content, mayonnaise is made from nutritionally beneficial ingredients. "Mayonnaise is traditionally prepared from vegetable oil and eggs, and both foods are nutritious. The oil contains unsaturated healthy fats, and the egg provides protein, as well as ingredients such as vitamin D," said Svanfeldt.

Mayonnaise also has a high concentration of vitamin E, which one study found may protect postmenopausal women from a stroke. Researchers from Intergroup of Arizona and the University of Minnesota found that postmenopausal women with significant amounts of vitamin E in their diet were less likely to die from a stroke. The most concentrated source of vitamin E in foods, which was consumed by the group of women in the study, was found in mayonnaise.

So, as with all good things in life, moderation is key.

Post by: Rinna James