Does Hot Sauce Help You Lose Weight? (Healthy Buffalo Sauce vs Bad For You)

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan Petitpas | Updated on 13 June 2024

On the table sits a glass bottle of hot sauce, accompanied by a small spoonful of chili powder, a red chili pepper, a garlic clove, and several black peppercorns meticulously arranged nearby.

Hot sauce, and buffalo sauce for that matter, may have implications for weight loss.7 Some people enjoy spicing up every meal with it, while others use it more sparingly. Understanding the calorie content and health effects of these spicy condiments can shed light on whether they support weight loss goals.

Below we’ll cover whether or not hot sauce can aid in weight loss efforts, it’s affects on metabolism, a look at the best low calorie and low sodium hot sauces and provide an easy to follow recipe to make your own buffalo sauce at home.

Can Hot Sauce Aid in Weight Loss During Dieting?

Many dieters who appreciate spicy foods often wonder if hot sauce contributes to weight loss. Fortunately, it does indeed aid in shedding pounds!

However, there are a few stipulations.

A bowl of red hot chili sauce with red chili peppers, yellow peppers, onions, and various types spices and peppers on the side.

Source: Mykola Lunov via Canva.com8

When it comes to weight loss for beginners, a dieter must be eating at a caloric deficit. This means that they are burning more calories than consumed. Luckily, there are a number of ways to achieve this.

Counting calories works very well, and dieters are encouraged to check the nutrition facts to make sure the hot sauce being used is low in calorie to support their weight loss goals. Or better yet, use a calorie counter to keep a daily track of nutrition.

For those uninterested in counting every calorie, there are still easy habits to use to support weight loss. Making heathy decisions such as smaller serving sizes or including healthy foods in a diet is a great way to get started.

Intuitive eating is another strategy to use when heathy foods are being consumed. And finally, adding more activity such as exercising will burn more calories to create a larger deficit for greater weight loss.

How Hot Sauce Contributes to Weight Loss

Now that dieters know that some hot sauces have the ability to help lose stubborn weight, let’s take a look as to why.

There are actually a few different reasons that spicy sauces like hot sauce and buffalo sauce can help those struggling to lose weight. This ranges from important health benefits such as boosting the metabolism, burning fat, and even suppressing appetite.

Boosts Metabolism

A person’s metabolism simply means the process in which their body converts food and drinks into energy. The body needs energy, and how fast that energy is burned plays a huge role in weight loss.

Those with a higher metabolism will burn off calories, or the energy provided from food, more quickly.

Those with a lower metabolism on the other hand, require less calories because the body requires less calories for energy.

Calories that aren’t used for energy will get stored as fat, leading to weight gain. Hot sauce made with chili peppers helps to boost a person’s metabolism, so that they are burning more calories faster.

This is due to the food’s level of capsaicin, which is what contributes to the product’s spiciness.

Capsaicin has been researched to significantly increase metabolic output and as a result, can lead to weight loss.1 So make sure to add hot sauce to add flavor and help lose weight too!

Capsaicin “Burns Fat”

Hot sauce not only aids in weight loss but also facilitates fat loss. Keep in mind that hot sauce increases metabolism, meaning it helps the body to burn more calories quicker.

Therefore, if more calories are being burned, then less calories are able to be stored as fat. At least, assuming that a person is not eating more calories after introducing hot sauce into their diet.

There is also research to support that capsaicin, or the activity ingredient that is responsible for heat in peppers, aids in the burning of fat.

One study found that capsaicin can aid in the oxidation of fat, which more simply put, means the cellular process of breaking down fats.2 Being able to burn more fat will lead to the body looking much more lean and healthy.

Capsaicin Is Also an Appetite Suppressant

In addition to increasing metabolism and burning more fat, capsaicin will also act as an appetite suppressant. This means that a high in capsaicin food or sauce makes a person much less hungry.

There’s a lot of research that suggests that capsaicin decreases hunger, aiding in weight loss.3

Think about it! After eating something super spicy, it’s likely that appetite decreases while the need for more water significantly increases!

Is Hot Sauce Beneficial or Detrimental to Your Health?

It’s widely acknowledged that hot sauce, particularly varieties containing capsaicin, can aid in weight loss. However, determining whether hot sauce is beneficial or detrimental for you is complex. While it can promote health and wellness for most healthy adults, there are situations where it may have adverse effects.

A large Tabasco hot sauce bottle in the background with smaller assorted bottles that are green and red in the foreground as well as a wooden cutting board with lemons even further to the front.

Source: iSAW Company via Pexels9

It can be argued that hot sauce is very good for overall health, because maintaining a healthy weight decreases one’s risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and many other diseases or ailments that take a toll on one’s health.

Burning more fat is also good for overall health, as it decreases the risk of obesity and obesity related disorders. So in many ways, hot sauce is very healthy to integrate into one’s diet.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that everybody is different. Those with esophageal, stomach, or intestinal disorders should probably avoid hot sauce or only eat hot sauce in moderation.

Research demonstrates that capsaicin-containing sauces can cause irritation of the throat, stomach, and gut.4 Irritation can result in symptoms such as acid reflux, upset stomach, and diarrhea.

The Best Low Calorie Buffalo Sauce (Healthy Buffalo Sauce & Wing Sauce for Weight Loss)

The best hot sauces and buffalo sauces for weight loss are the ones that are low calorie – luckily this is most of them but there’s some that are lower in calories than others. This helps dieters to eat at a caloric deficit, meaning they burn more calories than they consume.

Below are some of the best low buffalo sauce options to add to any dieter’s favorite dish, all under 35 cals per serving.

  1. Frank’s Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce.
  2. Whole Foods Market Organic Buffalo Wing Sauce
  3. Noble Made by the New Primal Buffalo Dipping and Wing Sauce
  4. Gourmet Keto Buffalo Sauce by Yo Mama’s Foods
  5. Simple Truth Organic Medium Buffalo Sauce

Other 0 or Low Calorie Hot Sauces That Are Good for Losing Weight

Anything that is zero or low in calories tends to be good for losing weight, making it the perfect food for those who are close to giving up on weight loss.

While there are many hot sauces out there that fit this criteria, here are a few favorites that packs the heat and aids in weight loss:

  1. Cholula Sauce
  2. Tabasco Sauce
  3. Frank’s Red Hot Original Recipe
  4. Louisiana Hot Sauce
  5. Sriracha Hot Sauce

Low Sodium Wing Sauces

Many hot sauces can be high in sodium, making it difficult for dieters watching their blood pressure or salt intake.

Check the list below for the best low calorie wing sauce options that are 140 milligrams or less in sodium per serving, which is considered to be low sodium by the FDA.5

  1. G Hughes Wing Sauce, Sweet Honey Flavored
  2. Melinda’s Creamy Style Ghost Pepper Wing Sauce
  3. Mr. Spice Organic Salt Free Hot Wing Sauce
  4. Doc’s Original Salt Free Mild Sauce
  5. Sauce Bae Hotter Habanero Sauce

How To Make Healthy Buffalo Sauce: Healthy Buffalo Sauce Recipe for Dieting

Instead of pondering whether hot sauce aids in weight loss, dieters are encouraged to explore the recipes provided below for a nutritious and delicious buffalo sauce. Rest assured, these recipes are not only simple but also beneficial for your health!

They are also approved by a number of trending diets.

The healthy buffalo sauce is gluten free, keto friendly, and low in calories. Those who enjoy a little bit of spice but are watching their salt intake should check out the low sodium recipe option too!

Healthy Buffalo Sauce Recipe

This recipe is spicy and savoring! All a dieter needs to make it is a hot sauce of choice (such as Cholula), butter or butter substitution, coconut aminos, vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and cayenne pepper.

Don’t forget a jar or container to store the product!

Step 1: Place a small to medium size saucepan on the stove over medium heat.

Step 2: Add one cup of the hot sauce of choice, 6 tablespoons of butter or butter replacement, 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, and 1 teaspoon of cayenne powder, and ½ teaspoon of salt (optional).

Step 3: Mix ingredients together extremely well.

Step 4: Allow to cook for at least 5 minutes while mixing frequently.

Step 5: Transfer to container and store in the fridge.

Notes:

  • Any type of vinegar is fine. For a sweeter sauce, try apple cider vinegar!
  • The spices can be optional and altered based on personal preference.
  • For more spice, use more cayenne powder and/or hot sauce. For less, try less!
  • A splash of heavy mixing cream or dairy free alternative can make this sauce more creamy.

Low Calorie Buffalo Sauce

This recipe is ideal for anyone curious about the potential benefits of hot sauce for weight loss, as it’s both low in calories and bursting with flavor! Plus, it can transform into a fat-free buffalo sauce, provided the hot sauce chosen contains zero grams of fat.

Try this recipe paired with a protein of choice like grilled chicken or shrimp.

Shrimp is beneficial for weight loss and is also packed with protein. Protein plays a crucial role in muscle development and promoting healthy aging.6

A bowl of thick, orange bufflalo sauce with a silver spoon, white bowl and wooden table in the background.

Source: bhofack2 via Canva.com10

For this recipe, all that’s needed is the hot sauce of choice, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar free substitute, oregano, and basil.

Step 1: In a medium sized mixing bowl add ¾ cup of a hot sauce of choice, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sugar substitute such as stevia, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, a pinch of basil, a pinch of oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.

Step 2: Mix ingredients together with a whisk.

Step 3: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes:

  • Check to make sure the hot sauce of choice is low in calories. Frank’s red hot hot sauce, Cholula, or Louisiana hot sauce are all good options to use.
  • Any type of vinegar is fine to use.
  • For a sweeter sauce, increase the sugar substitute.

Low Sodium Wing Sauce Recipe

This recipe offers a delicious garlic wing sauce with low sodium, ideal for any diet plan. For individuals managing their sodium intake and aiming to lose weight, chicken wings can be included in their diet, particularly when grilled and paired with a low-calorie sauce.

The ingredients necessary for this recipe include unsalted butter or butter substitute, low sodium hot sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, and black ground pepper. Don’t be afraid to make alterations to take wings to the next level!

Step 1: Heat a small to medium size saucepan over medium heat.

Step 2: Add ¼ cup of unsalted butter or low sodium butter substitute and allow to melt. Step 3: Add ¼ cup of a low sodium hot sauce, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of black ground pepper.

Step 3: Mix ingredients well.

Step 4: Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Step 5: Pour into a container with an airtight lid and store in the fridge for maximized freshness.

Notes:

  • It’s vital for all ingredients to be low in sodium! Make sure to check the nutrition fact to ensure a low in sodium hot sauce is used, as well as unsalted butter or low in sodium butter substitutes such as avocado oil.
  • Any type of vinegar can be used, but white vinegar is recommended.

Readers are encouraged to try the products and recipes mentioned earlier to support their weight loss goals. Additionally, those concerned about whether hot sauce contributes to weight loss can find reassurance, as it can indeed assist in shedding unwanted pounds and promote overall health.


References

1Rigamonti, A. E., Casnici, C., Marelli, O., De Col, A., Tamini, S., Lucchetti, E., Tringali, G., De Micheli, R., Abbruzzese, L., Bortolotti, M., Cella, S. G., & Sartorio, A. (2018). Acute administration of capsaicin increases resting energy expenditure in young obese subjects without affecting energy intake, appetite, and circulating levels of orexigenic/anorexigenic peptides. Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.), 52, 71–79. <https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2018.02.002>

2Ludy, M. J., Moore, G. E., & Mattes, R. D. (2012). The effects of capsaicin and capsiate on energy balance: critical review and meta-analyses of studies in humans. Chemical senses, 37(2), 103–121. <https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjr100>

3Zheng, J., Zheng, S., Feng, Q., Zhang, Q., & Xiao, X. (2017). Dietary capsaicin and its anti-obesity potency: from mechanism to clinical implications. Bioscience reports, 37(3), BSR20170286. <https://doi.org/10.1042/BSR20170286>

4Gonzalez, R., Dunkel, R., Koletzko, B., Schusdziarra, V., & Allescher, H. D. (1998). Effect of capsaicin-containing red pepper sauce suspension on upper gastrointestinal motility in healthy volunteers. Digestive diseases and sciences, 43(6), 1165–1171. <https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1018831018566>

5U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2022. Sodium in Your Diet. Web. Retrieved on 03 December 2022. <https://www.fda.gov/food/nutrition-education-resources-materials/sodium-your-diet>

6Carbone, J. W., & Pasiakos, S. M. (2019). Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit. Nutrients, 11(5), 1136. <https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051136>

7Steliana Ardelean’s Images. “red hot sauce.” Canva. Accessed 12 April 2023. <https://www.canva.com/photos/MAFCptAWoLM-red-hot-sauce/>

8Mykola Lunov. “Red Hot Chilli Sauce.” Canva. Accessed 12 April 2023. <https://www.canva.com/photos/MADnu_LykuQ-red-hot-chilli-sauce/>

9iSAW Company. “Assorted Hot Sauce Bottles.” Canva. Accessed 12 April 2023. <https://www.canva.com/photos/MADGv0Yl6JY-assorted-hot-sauce-bottles/>

10bhofack2. “Spicy Hot Organic Red Buffalo Sauce.” Canva. Accessed 12 April 2023. <https://www.canva.com/photos/MADnRxNQWIc-spicy-hot-organic-red-buffalo-sauce/>

About the Author

Nathan Petitpas

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.