It started out as a mixture of soy sauce and spices in Japan, but Japanese-Americans in Hawaii added ginger, brown sugar, pineapple juice and green onions to make it the marinade you know as teriyaki sauce. While teriyaki sauce helps to add flavor to low-fat meats such as chicken, it also adds a lot of sodium. Knowing the nutritional facts for teriyaki sauce can help you determine if it's a good addition to your diet.
Low-Calorie Dipping Sauce
When it comes to adding flavor to your meat, teriyaki sauce makes a low-calorie choice. One tablespoon of the sauce contains just 16 calories. By comparison, one serving of barbecue sauce contains almost twice the number of calories with 29 calories per tablespoon. Most Americans get more calories than they need, which is why waistlines are growing, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Even finding little ways to cut calories, such as swapping your barbecue sauce for teriyaki sauce, can help save calories for better weight control.
Almost all the calories in the teriyaki sauce come from carbs. One tablespoon of teriyaki sauce contains 3 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein and 0 grams of fat. For people with diabetes, teriyaki sauce makes a good condiment choice. With less than 5 grams of carbs per serving, it's considered a free food. The barbecue sauce, on the other hand, with 7 grams of carbs per tablespoon is not a free food.
High in Sodium
The one nutritional downfall of teriyaki sauce is its sodium content. One tablespoon contains 690 milligrams of sodium. Getting too much sodium in your diet causes your body to retain fluids, which increases blood pressure and your risk for heart disease. The American Heart Association suggests you limit your daily sodium intake to less than 1,500 milligrams a day, and one serving of teriyaki sauce meets almost half your daily needs. If you like your teriyaki sauce try to limit the amount you use or look for low-sodium versions to help limit sodium intake.
Some Vitamins and Minerals
Teriyaki sauce is not a significant source of vitamins and minerals, but it does contain a small amount of some essential nutrients. One tablespoon provides 0.31 milligrams of iron, 11 milligrams of magnesium, 28 milligrams of phosphorus and 40 milligrams of potassium. Iron is an important blood builder, both magnesium and phosphorus are essential for bone health, and potassium helps maintain fluid balance. Teriyaki sauce also contains a small amount of a number of B-vitamins, which are responsible for transforming the food you eat into energy.