Schezwan chutney is a popular, spice-filled condiment in India that is often used as a dipping sauce or condiment for Indian dishes such as momos, samosas, pakodas, parantha, and biryani.
In fact, it is one of the most versatile chutneys out there that can be used as a dip, spread, or cooking ingredient.
While Schezwan chutney is incredibly flavorsome and can take your dish to the next level, is it good for your health?
Short answer: Schezwan chutney is good for your health but only in moderation. It has extremely high sodium levels and contains plenty of artificial additives(flavors and preservatives). Eating too much of it can increase your blood pressure and weight and lead to digestive issues.
For a more detailed review, stay with me until the end of this post.
Also read: Is Kissan Jam Really Healthy? Find Out The Truth!
Nutrition facts of Schezwan chutney
A one serving (15g of 1tbsp) of contains:
- Calories: 21.5
- Carbs: 2.8g
- Sugar: 0.5g
- Fat: 1g
- Protein: 0.3g
- Sodium: 296mg
Ingredients in Schezwan chutney
The key ingredients that are used to make Schezwan chutney full of flavors include Water, Dried glucose syrup, Ginger, Sunflower oil, Salt, Chilli, Sugar, Garlic, Onion, Corn starch, Disodium-5′-Ribonucleotides(flavor enhancer, E635), Acetylated Distarch Adipate(Thickener, E1422), Acetic acid(Acidifying agent, E260), Spices (White pepper, Schezwan pepper), Sodium benzoate(Preservative, E211), Celery, Soy sauce powder (soybean, wheat salt)and Natural flavors.
4 Reasons Schezwan chutney is not good for health
1. It is extremely high in sodium
Szechuan chutney is extremely high in sodium, which can negatively affect health, especially for those with high blood pressure.
Just two servings (30g) of Szechuan chutney provide 572mg of sodium, which is 38% of the ideal daily limit per the American Heart Association.
Most people consume enough sodium through their regular diet, and eating Schezwan chutney further increases intake.
Studies have shown that a high-sodium diet can cause damage to organs and increases the risk of developing high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. It can also cause other problems, such as dehydration, headaches, bloating, and cramps.
If you are a patient with high BP or liver or kidney disease, it’s best you avoid Schezwan chutney.
2. It can cause digestion issues
While Schezwan chutney can satisfy your taste buds, eating too much of it can result in digestion issues.
This is because Schezwan chutney is too spicy, which can result in digestion issues like acid reflux, constipation, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
3. It has a risky flavor enhancer
Flavor enhancers are what give Schezwan chutney a delicious and flavorful taste. And while most flavors are safe to consume, some can pose health risks.
Schezwan chutney used flavor enhancer E635, also known as Disodium-5′-Ribonucleotides. This flavor enhancer is mainly used as a substitute for MSG.
While it is considered safe by most regulatory agencies, some sources claim that it may harm people who are allergic to it or people suffering from gout and asthma.
In addition, this flavor can also cause hyperactivity, sleeplessness and mood changes.
4. Use of preservatives
Preservatives in packaged foods have been a common practice for years. They are used to preserve food from spoiling for long periods.
Schezwan chutney uses sodium benzoate as a preservative which has been linked to health issues.
As per studies, Sodium benzoate can get converted into benzene(a cancer-causing substance) when it comes in contact with vitamin C, which is often present in peppers.
In addition, the consumption of sodium benzoate can also cause inflammation, oxidative stress, and some allergic reactions like itching and swelling.
Is Schezwan chutney good for weight loss?
Schezwan chutney is not supposed to eat with the intent of weight loss or weight gain. It’s simply there to add a spicy flavor to food.
But this is a common question that many ask, so it’s worth addressing.
While it’s true that spicy food can help with weight loss, this doesn’t apply to Schezwan chutney because it contains artificial preservatives and flavors. Furthermore, it is high in sodium which has been linked with weight gain in studies.
So, if you are on a diet, either you should eat it in moderation or avoid it completely.
Is Schezwan chutney good for pregnancy?
When pregnant, it is generally considered safe to eat spicy food as long as it is tolerable.
However, Schezwan chutney is too spicy and may cause digestive issues, acidity or heartburn-related problems during pregnancy.
In addition, it comes with high sodium levels, which can cause hypertension and cardiovascular diseases in the mother.
Furthermore, the Schezwan chutney uses a lot of artificial additives, which may have a negative impact on the health of the unborn baby.
Therefore, it’s best to avoid Schezwan chutney during pregnancy, or if you really are craving chutney, consume homemade chutneys with natural ingredients.
Although Schezwan chutney might have some health benefits(due to spices), it should only be eaten in moderation. Eating too much of it can lead to high blood pressure, weight gain and digestive issues.
In addition, it comes with many artificial additives that increase the risk of chronic diseases like inflammation and cancer.
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What is the maximum limit of sodium benzoate in Schezwan chutney
The sodium benzoate limit in food products, including schezwan chutney, is typically 0.1% by weight of the food. As long as you consume the recommended amount of schezwan chutney, you are good to go.