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Hidden Sugar Honey Mustard Edition
One of my favorite condiments to mix with tuna is honey mustard. The primary difference between deli mustard and honey mustard is the volume of added sweetener ingredient.
Ever since my previous post, 45 Sneaky Names for Hidden Sugar, I’ve been a bit concerned about what sweetener(s) are used to make that honey mustard taste so sweet and how much is being added. So today as I was shopping for honey mustard I decided to compare two popular brands of mustard, one was a LITE Honey Mustard (to be fair) while the other was a Spicy Brown Deli Mustard. The results may surprise you.
How Mustard Is Made
Deli mustard is coarsely ground mustard seed, mixed with water to be prepared as a condiment, usually spiced with vinegar, powdered hot chile and/or horseradish, for a stronger flavor. Turmeric is sometimes added to give it a bright yellow color and a mildly sour flavor. The flavor of the finished product is determined by the balance of spices and turmeric.
Honey mustard is created by adding a sweetening agent and then mixing it in equal volume with the mustard seed, water and spice mixture.
Here are the two labels side-by-side.
LITE Honey Mustard on the left. Deli Mustard Spicy Brown on the right.
At first glance you may not notice much of a difference but let’s see what happens when we investigate closer…
The honey mustard lists water first and SUGAR as its second ingredient. That means that the majority of the product is water and sugar.
The deli mustard lists distilled vinegar first and mustard seed second. Sugar is not an ingredient at all nor is any other sweetener or unnatural sounding ingredient.
The honey mustard also contains vegetable oil (soybean and/or canola), honey, and maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is a thickener for processed foods made from genetically modified corn that may cause spikes in your blood sugar. Sources (Dr Axe, Healthline).
With the honey mustard you’re also going to get a whole host of other alien sounding ingredients such as xanthan gum, titanium dioxide, potassium sorbate, and calcium disodium edta. This is where things begin to sound like objects to be acquired in a Guardians of the Galaxy film. I didn’t expect this from a LITE honey mustard.
I won’t even get into how the added corn syrup is nothing nice but the ‘natural flavor’ listed as the last ingredient seems like a total contradiction to everything listed before it.
Calories, Fat Carbs and Cholesterol
Well, the deli mustard has none of the above with the exception of calories which will be 5 per 1 tsp (5g).
The honey mustard contains 80 calories per 2 tbsp (30g), 5g of fat, 5mg of cholesterol and 9g of total carbs.
Those numbers don’t concern me as much what’s in the actual ingredients.
So Which Did I Choose?
I didn’t. Today the Deli Mustard Spicy Brown chose me. I was won over by the absence of Hidden Sugar and the ability to pronounce every listed ingredient.
That doesn’t mean I won’t ever consume honey mustard again but the amount of sugar and the presence of the other artificial sweeteners in that specific product concerns me. I can use my own natural sweeteners such as Stevia to upgrade the flavor of the deli mustard and I can control the amount of honey I want to add as well.
Which will you choose next time you’re shopping for mustard?