Ah, the question of the ages: is hot sauce healthy? To put it simply, the answer is yes! At 6 Pack Fitness, we were already well aware of the general healthiness of hot sauce – but we wanted to make an even healthier version, the very first of its kind specifically designed with the modern athlete in mind. Find out more about our sauces, buy them, and keep reading to learn more about why your diet can benefit from an extra slathering of hot sauce. Hot sauce comes from chili peppers. Peppers in all their forms can offer health benefits, but there's something special about chili peppers. It's what gives them heat, but it's also what makes hot sauce healthy: capsaicin, the little ingredient that could! It might sound like the name of a Pokemon, but it's actually an active component of chili peppers, and it's been shown to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Capsaicin's anticancer effects are also being studied, and the potential is high. In fact, one theory suggests that capsaicin can trigger apoptosis, which is a kind of cellular suicide. Essentially, it can encourage the death of cells, which are then recycled into new cells. The hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it has – but that doesn't necessarily translate into healthiest. As it turns out, some studies have found that capsaicin's interaction with other compounds within peppers contributes to its healthiness. Cutting and cooking can actually promote the release of these compounds from pepper tissue, thus increasing their availability, which means that bottled peppers – in other words, hot sauce – stand to be even healthier than we thought!
One study that involved half a million Chinese adults discovered that those who consumed spicy foods 3 or more times weekly experienced a 14% reduction in the risk of death.
But not all hot sauces are created equally. This is why it's especially important to always look at the ingredients. You want to look for low sodium and low sugar; two of our 6 Pack sauces – JalapeÃƒ±o and Habanero – include no sugar at all, while the other two – Chipotle and Mango Serrano – are low-sugar, with only half a gram per serving! While most hot sauce brands have somewhere around 5 or 6 calories per tablespoon, all four of 6 Pack's hot sauces proudly proclaim 0 calories!
Capsaicin is a fat-soluble molecule, which means that it's even more effective when paired with a (healthy) fat, such as olive oil. This allows it to be more easily absorbed by the body.