Guacamole vs. Salsa

 These accompaniments are staples in Mexican and Spanish cuisine and they frequently are found alongside burritos, tacos, and fajitas.  While they both are made from vegetables, nutritionally they are very different.

CONDIMENT CLASH:  Both of these condiments are gluten-free and full of vegetables.  Guacamole’s main ingredient is avocados which contain vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, and minerals like potassium, and folate.  Avocados have no cholesterol and are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart health.  However, avocados are high in calories mainly due to unsaturated fats. 

Salsa’s main ingredient is tomatoes which contribute vitamin C and riboflavin (a B vitamin), other components of salsa include corn, beans, onions, and peppers which not only contribute vitamins but also fiber.  These ingredients are also low in fat and calories making salsa a low calorie condiment. 

Who wins? When it comes to picking the condiment to go with your burrito, remember salsa can be used freely whereas guacamole should be used sparingly. Two tablespoons of guacamole is 100 calories whereas 2 tablespoons of salsa is about 20 calories.

TIP:  If you know you can’t live without guacamole on your burrito or fajita, order your guacamole on the side so you control how much goes on your food.

Julia E. Salomón, MS, RDN, CD; Community Health Improvement Leader, Affinity Health System 
Taylor Gawlik, Dietetic Intern, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay