Hoisin sauce is a staple in Asian cooking. It is commonly used as a dipping sauce or in recipes such as Peking duck and mu shu pork. Hoisin sauce has a sweet and sour flavor from the sugar, vinegar and fermented soy beans it contains. While you may not consider the nutritional content of condiments like hoisin sauce, they can add calories and dramatically increase the sodium content of your meal.
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Serving Size and Calories
No matter what you eat, whether it be a bag of chips or a spoonful of hoisin sauce, it is important to read the Nutrition Facts food label for the calorie content per serving. Eating 50 extra calories each day can lead to a 5 lb. weight gain over the course of a year. One serving of Dynasty brand hoisin sauce is equal to 2 tbsp., and each serving contains 50 calories. It is also important to pay attention to your serving size. If you plan on using more than 2 tbsp., than you need to adjust your calorie intake for the rest of your day to stay within your daily calorie limits.
Most Chinese food contains high amounts of sodium. Each serving of Dynasty brand hoisin sauce contains 410 mg of sodium. As a condiment and a recipe ingredient, hoisin sauce significantly contributes to the high sodium content of Chinese food. The American Heart Association recommends you limit your intake of sodium to less than 1,500 mg a day. High intakes of sodium causes your body to retain fluids and increases your blood pressure. When including a high-sodium meal in your diet, try to balance your intake by choosing low-sodium food items at your other meals.
Carbohydrates, Fat and Protein
Each serving of Dynasty brand hoisin sauce contains 9 g of carbohydrates, 9 g of sugar, 1 g of fat and 1 g of protein. While hoisin sauce is a virtually fat-free condiment, it does contain high amounts of sugar. Sugar is the second ingredient listed on the Dynasty brand food label after water. Ingredients are listed in order of decreasing weight, making sugar the primary ingredient in hoisin sauce. Sugar digests very quickly and offers very little nutritional value other than calories.
In addition to sugar, other ingredients in the Dynasty brand hoisin sauce includes white distilled vinegar, soybeans, rice, garlic, salt, sesame oil, caramel color, onions, red chili peppers, xanthum gum, spices, natural flavor, citric acid, star anise, sodium benzoate, autolyzed yeast, ginger and licorice root. While many of the ingredients sound familiar, some of the lesser known ingredients are used to improve the appearance and shelf life of hoisin sauce. For example, xanthum gum thickens the hoisin sauce while sodium benzoate acts as a preservative.