If you’ve ever wondered how salsa fits into your diet, or whether it’s a healthy snack choice for those with certain medical conditions, wonder no longer! From diabetes to high blood pressure to pregnancy, we discuss when you can eat salsa—as well as a couple of situations in which you may want to steer clear of this spicy snack.
Remember to always discuss changes in your diet or health concerns with your physician first.
Can I Eat Salsa With Diabetes?
Yes! Salsa has potassium, vitamins A and C, and fiber, all healthy choices for those with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes:
Fiber helps slow digestion, which means salsa has a minimal impact on blood sugar
No added sugars means that this low-carb option won’t trigger any release of insulin or require supplemental insulin
You can eat salsa with other low-carb and low-sugar dipping options—like bell pepper strips, celery or other veggies, or low-carb tortilla chips—for a healthy, filling, and diabetes-friendly snack.
Can I Eat Salsa with High Blood Pressure?
Salsa has about 5 percent of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of sodium, or 125 milligrams, per 2 tablespoon serving. Too much sodium has been connected to high blood pressure, and the CDC estimates that up to 9 in every 10 American adults already regularly consumes too much sodium.
However, Member’s Mark Fresh Salsa also offers plenty of nutrients that are known to reduce blood pressure—potassium key among them. Ultimately, as long as you’re watching your sodium in general, a few tablespoons of Member’s Mark Fresh Salsa can be a healthy addition to your diet.
Can I Eat Salsa on a Keto Diet?
Generally, yes. Because most commercial salsas, including Member’s Mark Fresh Salsa, are low in net carbs, they can fit into the ultra-low-carb ketogenic diet.
Corn or flour tortilla chips, on the other hand, are high in carbs and aren’t keto-friendly. However, keto adherents can buy keto-friendly chips, use bell pepper strips or another low-carb option, or bake homemade keto tortilla chips with cheese and almond flour.
Can I Eat Salsa While Pregnant?
Yes—though if you’re dealing with heartburn or other gastrointestinal symptoms, you may want to enjoy it only in moderation.
Because salsa is low-calorie, high in fiber, and has vitamins A and C, it can be a healthy choice during pregnancy. There’s even some evidence that enjoying spicy foods while pregnant can expand your baby’s palate once they begin eating solid foods themselves.
Can I Eat Salsa with IBS?
Yes, in moderation.
Although spicy food can sometimes exacerbate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), there are ways to manage these symptoms—and avoiding other IBS triggers like alcohol and fried foods may allow you to enjoy salsa in moderation.
Can I Eat Salsa While Trying to Lose Weight?
Yes! Salsa is composed of just a few healthy, low-calorie ingredients: tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, vinegar, and spices. And it’s versatile enough to substitute for a variety of other higher-calorie condiments—use it in place of salad dressing, barbecue sauce, ketchup, or other toppings that are high in sugar or fat.
At just 5 calories per 2-tablespoon serving, Member’s Mark Fresh Salsa is one of the lowest-calorie dipping or sauce options available, and can fit into a weight-loss plan. But as a reminder, talk to your doctor before embarking on any weight-loss journey
Can I Eat Salsa With Heartburn?
Probably not. Both intermittent heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause a burning sensation in the throat or upper chest. This is caused when excess stomach acid travels up the esophagus, causing inflammation and discomfort.
Unfortunately, spicy foods are one of the chief things to avoid when you’re dealing with heartburn. In some cases, heartburn can be managed with a careful diet; in others, you may need to take regular medication to keep stomach acid at bay. (If you do take heartburn medication, you may be able to eat spicy foods in moderation again—but talk to your doctor first.)
Can I Eat Salsa With Pancreatitis?
This condition, an inflammation of the pancreas, can cause pain and a burning sensation in the stomach area. Pancreatitis can be aggravated by anything that causes further stomach inflammation, including alcohol, caffeine, gas-forming foods, and spicy foods.
However, once your pancreatitis has resolved, you may be able to resume enjoying your favorite spicy foods.
Although heartburn and pancreatitis can make it tougher to enjoy salsa by itself, it may still be possible to incorporate salsa into some of your favorite meals. Just be careful to choose a milder version and consume it in moderation.
Now that you know more about the health benefits of salsa’s key ingredients—tomatoes, onions, vinegar, and spices—it’s time to get dipping!