For most families, a barbecue simply isn’t complete without a bottle of ketchup on the picnic table. However, just because processed ketchup has become an American favourite doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
Today’s ketchup has actually strayed far away from its humble homemade origins.
In fact, the Israeli health ministry has ruled that Heinz ketchup must now be sold in the country as “tomato seasoning” because it doesn’t contain the 41% minimum of tomato concentrate to be labeled as such. Instead, Heinz ketchup only contains 21% tomato concentrate (1).
If tomatoes aren’t the main ingredient in tomato ketchup, what is?
As you may know, ingredients on a nutritional label are placed according to the volume they take up in the final product.
This means that the first ingredient s the main ingredient in the recipe and the last on the list has the smallest quantity
1. Low Tomato, High Sugar Content
Tomato concentrate is technically the main ingredient in tomato ketchup, according to the label.
However, seeing as high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup, two processed sugars, are not far behind on the list, it’s safe to say that ketchup actually contains more sugar than it does tomatoes.
With high sugar comes higher health risks such as:
- unhealthy weight gain
- type 2 diabetes
- high blood pressure
- extra belly fat
- heart disease
- fatty liver disease
- pancreatic cancer
- reduced immune strength
2. Distilled Vinegar
Heinz admits on its website that the white vinegar they produce is made from corn (2).
Roughly 90% of corn grown in the United States is genetically modified, meaning that it has been engineered to withstand harsh pesticides and pesticides (3).
Despite this, the company labelled their vinegar “all-natural”, a controversial claim for which they are being sued (5).