Some like it hot, and for those that do, hot sauce is essential to keep bland meals at bay.
Hot sauce is highly versatile and with many varieties of flavors, heat levels, and colors — it’s one of the most popular condiments in the U.S. Hot sauce consumption is expected to reach 3.77 billion U.S dollars by 2026 compared to 2.29 billion in 2018 (1).
Although some people’s biggest hot sauce concern may be keeping their tongue from feeling like it’s on fire, hot sauce can hide an unexpected load of sodium.
In general, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting your sodium intake to under 1,500 milligrams per day for someone with high blood pressure and 2,300 milligrams for a standard diet.
With one tablespoon of Frank’s RedHot original hot sauce containing 570 milligrams of sodium, you’d already exceed nearly half of the AHA’s daily recommended sodium intake with just 2 tablespoons of Frank’s RedHot (2).
The body only needs a small amount of sodium to function, and consuming sodium in too high of quantities can increase the risk of health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke (3).
We know nothing can get in between you and your hot sauce. Our favorite 13 low-sodium hot sauce options — ranked by sodium content — and our advice on how to choose the best option for you will keep your tastebuds burning and your food packing a punch without the extra salt.
How to choose low sodium hot sauce options
When looking for the best low sodium hot sauce for you, here are a couple of tricks to find your perfect match:
- Scoville level. When it comes to hot sauce, some people are looking for a milder heat and a bursting flavor, some are looking for hot, and some are looking for very hot. To find a hot sauce that meets your needs and tastes, it’s worth looking at its Scoville level. Capsaicin, the property of chili peppers that makes them hot, varies between pepper varieties. The Scoville heat scale measures a hot sauce’s potency by its amount of capsaicin and its production process and then ranks its heat in Scoville heat units (SHUs) and by a set of 1-10+ levels. For example, a standard Tabasco Original Hot Sauce is a 3 on the Scoville level with 2,500 SHU (4, 5).
- Type of pepper. There are a variety of options of chili peppers in your hot sauce, and each of them has a slightly different flavor that will amp up any soup, sandwich, pizza, or even salad. Most commonly, store-bought hot sauce contains either cayenne, jalapeño, habanero, or chipotle. While all chile peppers are hot (hence the hot in hot sauce) For example, jalapenos have a medium heat, but when smoked and dried, they become chipotle peppers with a smokey heat. Test out your favorite flavors and have fun!
- Consume in moderation. Depending on the heat level of your chosen hot sauce, your hot sauce may end up causing you some gastrointestinal pain. Spicy foods, in general, can cause stomach irritation and problems like acid reflux and heartburn. To avoid discomfort, consume your favorite spicy foods (and condiments) in moderation (6).
1. Lola’s – Trinidad Scorpion Fine Hot Sauce
This gluten-free hot sauce has only 10mg of sodium per serving which is the lowest of the bunch. It’s made with lime, garlic, jalapenos, and Trinidad scorpion peppers. Also, it’s free from added sugars.
2. Melinda’s Hot Sauce Habanero Pepper Sauce Mango
Melinda’s hot sauce combines the sweetness of mango with spicy Habanero peppers and lime juice. One serving contains 10mg of sodium which equals approximately 0% of the daily value. According to the company’s classification, this sauce’s heat level is 1 out of 5.
3. Tia Lupita Hot Sauce
This hot sauce is made with red chili peppers, garlic, and roasted spices such as oregano and cumin. It is very low in sodium and offers only 25mg of sodium – 1% of DV – per serving. Moreover, it’s free from additional sugars, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
4. Seor Lechuga Hot Sauce 001 Habanero Onion Reapers
This hot sauce is made with Habanero peppers, vinegar, reaper peppers, and red onion. One serving contains only 25mg of sodium which equals 1% of the daily value.
5. Bravado Spice Ghost Pepper & Blueberry Hot Sauce
This hot sauce combines sweet blueberries with ghost papers and white wine vinegar. It contains only 30mg of sodium – 1% of DV – and pairs well with red meats and slow-cooked meals.
6. O Organics Hot Sauce Chili Lime
This organic hot sauce is made with lime juice, tomato paste, and oregano pepper puree. It provides just 45mg – 2% of DV – of sodium per serving.
7. Natures Promise Organic Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
This organic Sriracha sauce contains three different peppers: red jalapeno, red bell pepper, and Habenero pepper. One serving offers 55mg of sodium which equals 2% of the daily value.
8. Ninja Squirrel Sriracha Hot Sauce
This gluten-free Sriracha hot sauce is made with jalapeno puree, red chili puree, habanero pepper powder, and white vinegar. It contains 60mg of sodium per serving which equals 3% of the daily value.
9. 365 Everyday Value Jalapeno Hot Sauce
This organic hot sauce is made with tomato puree, jalapeno puree, and white vinegar. it contains 70mg of sodium – 3% of DV – per serving.
10. Simple Truth Organic Jalapeno Hot Sauce
This organic hot sauce is made with jalapeno puree, tomato paste, and soybean oil. One serving offers 85mg of sodium which equals 3.7% of the daily value per serving.
11. Cholula Original Hot Sauce
This hot sauce combines arbol and piquin peppers with a variety of spices. Also, it has a medium value on Cholula’s heat scale and is ideal to add over eggs, burgers, and mac and cheese. One serving offers 110mg of sodium which equals 4% of the daily value.
12. Yellowbird Sauce Habanero Hot
Yellowbird’s organic hot sauce combines fruity, sour, and spicy flavor elements together. It’s made with carrots, Habanero peppers, tangerine juice, lime juice, dates, and raisins. It contains 115mg of sodium – 5% of DV – per serving.
13. 505 Southwestern Hatch Valley Green Chile Sauce Hot
This spicy sauce is made with green chile peppers, tomatoes, and lime juice. It’s a perfect addition to your sandwiches and slow-cooked meats. One serving contains 170mg of sodium which provides 7% of the daily value.
Key takeaways on how to choose a low sodium hot sauce
Low-sodium hot sauce may not seem like the most important thing at first, but when considering the sodium content between your meal and the condiment you’re putting on top — the numbers can add up.
Making the simple switch towards a low-sodium hot sauce will help you manage your sodium intake without compromising whatever you put hot sauce on.
When choosing a low-sodium hot sauce, do your research and experiment with different chili peppers to test new heats and flavors to find your favorite.
And if you’re not sure what kind of heat you’re looking for, look up the Scoville of prospect hot sauces to guide your discovery.
Enjoy the search, and hopefully, with this collection of our top 13 low-sodium hot sauce options and ways to find the best option for you, the only problem you’ll have with your hot sauce is that there isn’t enough.
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