Behind the label of the popular Rooster Sauce…
Over 10 million bottles of Huy Fong Foods Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce are sold each year. While there are quite a few versions of Sriracha sauce from many different manufacturers, the one from Huy Fong is by far the best known in the United States – it’s the one with the rooster on the label (resulting in the “Rooster Sauce” nickname) and the green spout on top. This is one popular spicy condiment – but how nutritious really is this sauce? Is Sriracha healthy (whether Huy Fong Foods version or another), or is it a high calorie/low nutrition condiment. Let’s break down the details behind Sriracha nutrition.
Sriracha is a low-calorie food.
Sriracha allows you to add a lot of flavor to your food at the cost of a few calories. From a teaspoon of Huy Fong Foods Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, you will consume a mere 5 calories. Other brands of Sriracha also provide 5 calories per serving. The low-calorie nature of Sriracha makes it an excellent condiment if you are trying to lose weight; however, those calories can add up if the sauce is consumed in excess.
Sriracha is typically low in sodium.
A one-teaspoon serving of Huy Fong Foods Sriracha gives you 60 mg of sodium, which is about 3 percent of what you should consume each day. The amount of sodium in Sriracha is considerably less than is found in the same serving size of other popular hot sauce brands like Tapatio and Frank’s Red Hot Original. Though be careful and read the label – The Kikkoman version of Sriracha delivers considerably more sodium with 180 mg per teaspoon. This is 8 percent of your daily requirement.
Sriracha contains capsaicin.
Capsaicin is the chemical responsible for the heat of the chili peppers used in Sriracha. The Scoville scale is used to measure that heat and therefore can function as a measurement of capsaicin concentration. Huy Fong’s Sriracha contains between 1,500 and 2,500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), which means that its capsaicin is less concentrated than a jalapeño pepper’s (2,500-5,000 SHU) but more concentrated than in an Anaheim pepper (500-2,500 SHU). However, it is considerably hotter than a few other popular hot sauces including Frank’s Red Hot Original (450 SHU) and Texas Pete (750 SHU).
At present, there is no daily recommended value for capsaicin. Capsaicin is known to provide health benefits like a reduction in cholesterol and the inhibition of cancer cell growth. It may also help to regulate blood sugar levels and lose weight.
Sriracha can contain a surprising amount of vitamins – depending on the brand.
The Sriracha sauce from Huy Fong Foods does not rate highly as a source of vitamins; however, Trader Joe’s Sriracha Sauce does. A one-teaspoon serving contains 15 mg of vitamin C, which is 20 percent of your daily recommended amount of this vitamin. This version of Sriracha also contains 100 IU of vitamin A, which is 2 percent of your daily requirement.
Similarly, the Sky Valley version of Sriracha also contains more nutrients than the one from Huy Fong Foods. A one-teaspoon serving of Sky Valley Sriracha Sauce provides 6 percent of the vitamin C you need each day and 2 percent of your vitamin A. Both vitamin C and vitamin A help to support the immune system and skin health.
Photo by Ted Eytan