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Can Sriracha’s Nutrition Facts Make It a Healthy Choice?

In Southeast Asian cuisine, condiments are an important part of our meals, and sriracha is one of them.  Sriracha sauce has gained much love for its unique blend of heat, tang, and sweetness. Now let’s be honest, when we think of Sriracha sauce one often comes to mind, the original rooster Huy Fong sauce.  As a registered dietitian, I often encounter questions about sriracha’s nutrition facts and is it a healthy choice? 

The Great Sriracha Shortage 

There was a time when the unthinkable happened – Sriracha suddenly vanished from grocery store shelves.  This wasn’t just a small problem for a few people; it was a big deal for many of us who loved adding that extra spice to our meals.  The absence of sriracha sent a ripple of distress through our community. I remember searching online in disbelief as prices soared to an astonishing $100 per bottle.  It forced us to try different sauces, but let’s be honest, nothing could replace the unique taste of rooster sauce, Sriracha.  

Sriracha Sauce – The Nutrition Facts

So when it comes to the original sauce, the Huy Fong brand, a typical 5-gram serving also a teaspoon serving:

sriracha nutrition facts
  • 5 calories
  • 80 mg sodium
  • 1 gram of Carbs
  • 0 grams of Fat
  • 0 grams of Protein

While it does contain some vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium the amounts are small in a teaspoon serving.  It’s great for those who are calorie-conscious as it’s low in calories and carbs. The primary concern with Sriracha, like many sauces, is its sodium content. Let’s unpack what ‘low sodium’ means and its relevance to Sriracha.

What Does Low Sodium Mean?

sriracha nutrition facts

A Note on Sriracha Nutrition Facts

With the great sriracha shortage, new brands of sriracha or newly discovered srirachas surfaced and not all of the nutrition facts are the same. The Huy Fong brand has 80 mg of sodium per serving which would consider it a low sodium option whereas there are other sriracha’s that could go upwards to 200 mg per teaspoon. Hence, not all sriracha’s are created equal.

Reading the nutrition label would be the best to determine if a brand is consider low sodium under the guidelines of the FDA definition. Additionally, even though the Huy Fong brand is considered a low-sodium sauce, we still need to think about how much we use.

But the good thing about Sriracha is that it’s flavorful, so a little bit can go a long way. You don’t need a lot of it to make your food taste great!

sriracha nutrition facts

Carbohydrates in Sriracha – What You Need to Know about the Nutrition Facts

Health Benefits of the Chili Peppers in Sriracha

Chili peppers, a key ingredient in Sriracha sauce, offer more than just a spicy kick. These small but mighty peppers are packed with beneficial properties that can contribute to your health in various ways.

Is Sriracha a Good Addition to Your Diet?

sriracha nutrition facts

Sriracha can be a great addition to many diet plans, but there are some things to consider.

While most brands are low in calories and carbs, the sodium content can vary. So, it’s important to read the nutrition facts label to make sure you’re getting the right ingredients for your specific dietary needs.

Additionally, many sriracha brands are vegan and gluten-free, but if you have conditions like celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten, it’s always a good idea to double-check the label.

Another thing to watch out for is the source of the sugar used in the sriracha sauce, as some brands may use sugar that is processed with bone char.

Overall, if you choose the right brand and serving size, sriracha can be a tasty and healthy addition to your diet.

Vegan-Friendly Sriracha: Understanding the Sugar Source

For those who follow a strict vegan diet, take a closer look at the ingredients in sriracha, specifically the type of sugar used.

Surprisingly, not all white sugar is vegan. Some white sugar is processed using bone char, which is derived from animal bones, to achieve its pure white color. While this process doesn’t leave any animal products in the sugar, it’s still a concern for many vegans.

The Most Popular Sriracha Sauce Nutrition Facts

When it comes to Sriracha sauce, the classic Huy Fong sriracha, or the original rooster sauce, is a top choice for many, including myself.

  • It is low in sodium, carbs, and calories, making it a great addition to a healthy diet (just be mindful of the serving size).
  • It is gluten-free and, according to the manufacturer, vegan. There have been conflicting reports on whether the sauce is vegan or not, but the manufacturer has stated that their ingredient suppliers have confirmed that there are “no animal products or by-products used to manufacture their Huy Fong products.”

Another brand that gained popularity amid the shortage was Trader Joe’s sriracha sauce. Similar in nutrition to the rooster sauce, it also matches in sodium, carbs, and calories. So it all boils down to reading the label and see if it aligns with your diet needs.

sriracha nutrition facts

When to Avoid Sriracha: Considerations for IBS and Sensitivity to Ingredients

While Sriracha can be a flavorful addition to many dishes, there are situations where it might be best to avoid it.

  • Individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or a sensitivity to spicy foods should be cautious. 
  • People who are sensitive to spicy foods or specific ingredients in Sriracha may experience discomfort or digestive issues. 

It’s always a good idea to listen to your body and avoid foods that cause discomfort, and this includes being mindful of how spicy foods like Sriracha affect your health.

Conclusion

In essence, Sriracha, especially the iconic Huy Fong brand, stands out as a tasty and health-conscious condiment. With its low calories and carbs, it fits well into various diets. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Sodium levels: Be cautious about varying sodium levels among brands and check nutrition labels.
  • Health benefits: The chili peppers in Sriracha offer potential health benefits, such weight management and anti-inflammatory effects, adding to overall well-being.
  • IBS and Spice Sensitivity: For those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or a sensitivity to spices, pay attention to your body and enjoy with caution.
  • Vegan considerations: Vegans should also check sugar sources to ensure alignment with their principles.

In short, enjoy Sriracha’s unique flavor while staying balanced and mindful of your individual health and dietary needs.

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