Fries, hamburgers and (arguably) scrambled eggs all go well with ketchup. When eating these foods on the run, having ketchup packets handy can save the day. But be mindful of ketchup packet calories and ingredients if you are hoping to lose weight or decrease your sugar intake — as they can add up.
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Heinz Ketchup Packet Calories
According to the Kraft Heinz Company, one packet of Heinz ketchup contains 10 calories. This serving also contains 2 grams of sugar and 95 milligrams of sodium, which is 4 percent of the daily value. Each packet also contains no fat, cholesterol or protein. In terms of Heinz ketchup packet size, each one contains a 9-gram serving of the condiment.
If you're having just one, there aren't many carbs in the ketchup packet. But if you have, let's say, four packets, the carbs add up. Each packet contains 3 grams of carbs. If you eat four packets of Heinz ketchup, this amounts to 8 grams of sugar, 12 grams of carbs and 40 calories total.
Read more: Tomato Paste Vs. Puree for Recipes
Heinz Ketchup Ingredients
Heinz ketchup is made with seven ingredients: tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder and natural flavoring. The ingredients to watch out for here are high-fructose corn syrup and corn syrup, which are both types of added sugar, notes Harvard Health Publishing.
Too much added sugar in the diet has a slew of negative health effects. According to Harvard Health Publishing, it can:
- Raise blood pressure
- Increase chronic inflammation
- Contribute to weight gain
- Increase risk of diabetes
- Increase risk of dying from heart disease
The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily added sugar intake to 9 teaspoons, or 36 grams, for men and 6 teaspoons, or 25 grams, for women. If you are a woman and you eat four packets of Heinz ketchup with your meal, the added sugar in this serving of the condiment amounts to 32 percent of your daily recommended limit.
Read more: Are Tomatoes Bad for Weight Loss?
Ketchup and Lycopene
Tomatoes and tomato-based products such as ketchup are high in lycopene, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. A powerful antioxidant that may help protect cells from damage, lycopene has garnered a lot of interest in the scientific community for its possible beneficial effects on various diseases.
Early research shows that lycopene intake may decrease risk of Lou Gehrig's disease, colon and rectal cancer, asthma flare-ups in people with stable asthma and lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. Though, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, more research is needed on the role of lycopene in helping to treat these conditions before determining its efficacy.
Ketchup actually contains more lycopene than raw tomatoes. This is because lycopene's bioavailability increases when it is treated with heat. This means that the lycopene in cooked tomatoes is easier to process by the body than the lycopene in raw tomatoes, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Whenever possible, eat ketchup in moderation and buy it organic and without any added sugars such as high-fructose corn syrup and regular corn syrup. This will help you keep your added sugar consumption in check while still getting the benefits of consuming a tomato product that is rich in lycopene.