Spicy foods do more than make you sweat. In addition to giving your taste buds a thrill, they come with numerous health benefits. Cayenne, chili peppers and products like hot sauce contain compounds called capsaicins that have been studied for their medicinal and healing powers. To find a healthy way to spice things up, we taste-tested five popular brands of hot sauce to find the tastiest and most nutritious product among the bunch.
Here are a few reasons why you should pump up the heat in your next meal.
1. Hot Sauce Revs Up Your Metabolism
Consider how eating something spicy warms you up. While your body temperature increases, your metabolism also speeds up at the same time. Though you may not lose serious pounds by eating spicy food, burning a few extra calories here and there never hurts.
2. Spice More, Eat Less
Have you ever felt your meal was much more satisfying with a dash of hot sauce? There’s a good reason why. Research shows that spicy foods increase the feeling of satisfaction you get from your meal. Being more satisfied with a smaller portion means you’ll be less likely to overeat.
3. Hot Sauce for Heart Health
Capsaicins are believed to help prevent the damage that bad (LDL) cholesterol causes to arteries. This is why cayenne and chili pepper are often noted as a couple of the best spices for heart health.
Zipongo’s Hot Sauce Blind Taste Test
Hot sauce is our favorite condiment at Zipongo. Since we’re always curious how our favorite foods shape up in the nutrition arena, we set up a blind taste test among five popular brands of hot sauce. And we analyzed taste and nutrition to figure out which hot sauce brand really is best.
From L to R: Crystal hot sauce, Cholula hot sauce, Tabasco pepper sauce, Tapatio hot sauce, 365 Pepper Duo hot sauce.
Blind Taste-Test Results
Tapatio took first place while Cholula came in second in the taste comparison. Testers remarked that both Tapatio and Cholula had the perfect blend of spiciness and flavor. Scoring last place in the taste comparison was Tabasco, which testers said had an overpowering vinegary flavor.
Zipongo Recommendation: Cholula Hot Sauce
Cholula hot sauce takes the winner’s trophy for being the best when it comes to taste and nutrition. Between the top two hot sauces, Cholula scored extra points for having a lower sodium count than Tapatio (85 mg vs. 110 mg per serving). Dash some on at your next meal to rev up your metabolism and your taste buds, too.