Is Frank’s Red Hot healthy?

Frank’s Red Hot is a popular hot sauce brand that has been around since 1920. The ingredient list for Frank’s Original RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce is simple – aged cayenne red peppers, distilled vinegar, water, salt, and garlic powder. With just 5 ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, Frank’s Red Hot markets itself as a natural, flavorful hot sauce option. But is it actually healthy? Here’s a comprehensive look at the nutrition facts and ingredients in Frank’s RedHot to determine if it fits into a healthy diet.

Nutrition Facts

Frank’s RedHot nutrition information (per 1 teaspoon serving):

Calories 5
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 110mg
Total Carbohydrates 1g
Protein 0g

With only 5 calories and 0 grams of fat per serving, Frank’s RedHot is very low in calories and fat, which are two of the main nutrients that need to be limited in a healthy diet. It does contain 110mg of sodium per teaspoon, which is 5% of the daily recommended limit of 2300mg per day. However, typical serving sizes of hot sauce are often less than a teaspoon, so the sodium contribution may be lower depending on your preferences. Overall, the nutrition profile of Frank’s Original RedHot hot sauce is low in the nutrients that need restriction in a healthy diet.


Here is a breakdown of the ingredients in Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce:

Aged Cayenne Red Peppers – The first ingredient listed is aged cayenne peppers, indicating red chili peppers are the main component of Frank’s RedHot. Red chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin that gives them their spicy kick and hot flavor. Studies show capsaicin has some health benefits including boosting metabolism, reducing appetite, and anti-inflammatory effects. So the cayenne peppers give Frank’s RedHot flavor as well as potential health benefits.

Distilled Vinegar – Distilled vinegar is used as part of the vinegar-based blend to provide acidity and flavor balance to the hot sauce. Vinegar has some potential benefits for blood sugar and weight management, so the vinegar in Frank’s RedHot may provide some advantages. However, distilled vinegar lacks the beneficial polyphenol antioxidants found in apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar.

Water – Water helps create the consistency of the hot sauce.

Salt – A small amount of salt is used for flavor. The 110mg of sodium per serving comes mostly from the added salt. Limiting salt intake is recommended in a healthy diet, but the small serving sizes of hot sauce mean it may not be a major sodium source.

Garlic Powder – Garlic powder provides a touch more flavor. Garlic has benefits for heart health and immunity.

Overall, the simple, natural ingredient list is a point in favor of Frank’s Red Hot sauce. There are no chemical preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. The use of distilled vinegar rather than a vinegar with more polyphenols like apple cider vinegar is a small downside. But all the other ingredients – aged cayenne peppers, garlic, water, and a bit of salt, are natural components.

Calories and Weight Loss

At just 5 calories per serving, Frank’s RedHot is very low in calories, which can help with weight management.

Replacing high calorie condiments like ranch dressing, mayo, or creamy salad dressings with hot sauce is an easy way to save significant calories. For example, 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing has about 140 calories. 2 tablespoons of mayo has about 190 calories. But 2 tablespoons of Frank’s RedHot has just 10 calories.

Using hot sauce in place of higher calorie condiments on foods like eggs, avocado toast, chicken, burgers, etc. can reduce the calorie content of your meal.

Additionally, the capsaicin in Frank’s RedHot may have an appetite reducing effect. Studies show capsaicin can increase satiety and fullness, helping you eat fewer calories at meals.

So enjoying Frank’s RedHot sauce on your foods can definitely help reduce calorie intake and potentially aid weight loss.

Sodium Content

The 110mg of sodium per serving of Frank’s RedHot is on the lower side for condiments and sauces. However, it’s still a good idea to be mindful of your total daily sodium intake from all foods and seasonings when aiming for a healthy diet.

Some tips for enjoying Frank’s RedHot while limiting excess sodium:

– Stick to the recommended serving size of 1 teaspoon (or less). You likely don’t need large portions of hot sauce to get flavor.

– Dilute it with yogurt or sour cream for a creamy dip or dressing. This reduces the sodium per bite.

– Opt for lower sodium variations when possible. Frank’s RedHot has a lower sodium version with 25% less sodium.

– Be mindful of your total daily sodium intake, not just from hot sauce but processed foods, restaurant meals, etc.

– Increase potassium intake from fruits, veggies and beans to counterbalance sodium.

Overall, the sodium in Frank’s RedHot can be part of healthy diet when used properly and balanced with other less salty foods. The small serving sizes minimize its sodium impact.

Sugar Content

Frank’s RedHot contains 0 grams of sugar per serving. This is great if you’re looking to limit added sugars in your diet.

Many condiments and sauces like ketchup, barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, and sweet chili sauce can contain high amounts of added sugar. Frank’s RedHot provides flavor without any of the added sugars.

So enjoying this hot sauce is a smart choice for avoiding excess added sugars and limiting sugar intake as part of a healthy diet.

Potential Benefits

Some potential benefits of the ingredients in Frank’s RedHot:

Metabolism Boost from Capsaicin – The capsaicin in the aged cayenne red peppers may give your metabolism a slight boost by increasing energy expenditure. One study found capsaicin increased calories burned by about 50 calories per day.

Reduced Appetite from Capsaicin – Studies show capsaicin can increase satiety hormones and help you eat less at meals by reducing appetite. Less calorie intake can aid weight management.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects – The capsaicin may have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to diseases, so this can be beneficial.

Heart Health – The garlic powder provides allicin, a compound linked to decreased cholesterol and better heart health.

Blood Sugar – The vinegar may improve insulin sensitivity for better blood sugar management and reduced diabetes risk.

So, in moderation, the ingredients like cayenne pepper, garlic and vinegar in Frank’s RedHot can provide some advantageous effects. The amounts from typical hot sauce servings may be modest, but can add up over time.


Some potential downsides and risks to consider:

High Sodium Intake – Consuming too much sodium from hot sauce along with other foods can negatively impact heart health and blood pressure. Stick to recommended serving sizes.

GI Issues – Capsaicin can irritate the digestive tract for those sensitive to spicy foods, causing stomach pain, cramps, or diarrhea if consumed in excess.

Masking Unhealthy Foods – Dousing less nutritious foods high in calories, fat and carbs with hot sauce may provide flavor but won’t necessarily make them healthier.

Addictive – The endorphins released from eating spicy capsaicin-rich foods may cause cravings for some.

Allergies – Though rare, chili pepper allergies can cause reactions ranging from mild mouth tingling to anaphylaxis. Discontinue use if any allergy symptoms occur.

So it’s best to enjoy hot sauce like Frank’s RedHot in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, being mindful of potential downsides if over-consumed.

Is Frank’s RedHot Gluten-Free?

Yes, Frank’s RedHot original sauce is certified gluten-free, making it a good option for those avoiding gluten.

It contains no wheat, barley, rye or other gluten-containing ingredients. The facility and production lines where Frank’s RedHot is made are kept gluten-free as well to prevent cross-contamination.

So if you follow a gluten-free diet, you can enjoy Frank’s RedHot sauce without concern over gluten exposure. Always check labels for any gluten-free certification when purchasing.

Does Frank’s RedHot Have Sugar or Artificial Ingredients?

No, Frank’s RedHot original sauce contains:

– 0g sugar per serving
– No high fructose corn syrup
– No artificial colors
– No artificial flavors
– No artificial preservatives

The simple 5 ingredient list avoids any added sugars or artificial additives. So you don’t have to worry about consuming extra sugar or chemical ingredients with Frank’s RedHot sauce.

How Does Frank’s RedHot Compare to Other Hot Sauces?

Frank’s RedHot is lower in sodium compared to some other popular hot sauces:

Hot Sauce Sodium per Teaspoon
Frank’s RedHot Original 110mg
Tabasco Sauce 190mg
Sriracha 330mg
Cholula Hot Sauce 140mg

Frank’s is also lower in calories and sugar compared to sweeter-style hot sauces:

Hot Sauce Calories per Teaspoon Sugar per Teaspoon
Frank’s RedHot Original 5 calories 0g
Sweet Baby Ray’s Hot Sauce 20 calories 4g
Sweet Chili Sauce 17 calories 3g

So Frank’s RedHot tends to be one of the lower sodium and lower sugar options among popular hot sauces. The original flavor also has an ingredient list free of preservatives and other additives found in some brands.

Should You Refrigerate Frank’s Red Hot After Opening?

No, Frank’s RedHot does not need to be refrigerated after opening due to the vinegar content. The acetic acid in distilled vinegar acts as a natural preservative that prevents bacterial growth.

Refrigeration can actually negatively impact the flavor of the vinegar-based hot sauce. Cold temperatures dull the flavor notes. The vinegar allows it to be safely stored at room temperature after opening.

To maximize freshness and shelf life after opening, store Frank’s RedHot in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Keeping the lid tightly sealed also preserves freshness. An unrefrigerated bottle will typically last several years past its “best by” date if stored properly.

So you can keep your Frank’s RedHot handy on the table or pantry shelf after opening, no need to chill it in the fridge!

How Long Does Frank’s RedHot Last After Opening?

An opened bottle of Frank’s RedHot will typically last 3-4 years past its printed “Best By” date when stored properly at room temperature.

The vinegar content allows Frank’s RedHot to remain shelf-stable after opening without refrigeration. Keep it sealed tightly and stored away from heat and sunlight to maximize the shelf life.

Over time, its color may dull slightly and the flavor can mellow, but it will remain safe to consume if it has been handled properly.

Discard any bottle that shows signs of spoilage like mold, abstraction separation, or foul odor. Otherwise, an unrefrigerated bottle stays good for several years past the best by date if stored in a cool, dry pantry.

Does Frank’s RedHot Go Bad If Never Opened?

An unopened, sealed bottle of Frank’s RedHot has a very long shelf life and does not go bad if stored properly.

An unopened bottle kept in a cool, dry place can remain good for at least 5-7 years past the printed “Best By” date, likely longer.

Over many years, the color and flavor may start to slowly degrade. But the hot sauce does not actually expire or go bad due to the vinegar preserving the product.

For optimal freshness and flavor, use your bottles of Frank’s RedHot within a few years of purchasing. Discard if the bottle has any rust, damage, or swelling. Otherwise, enjoy it past the best by date as long as it has been stored properly.


Frank’s RedHot can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. With 0 calories, 0g fat, and just 110mg sodium per serving, its nutrition facts are relatively low for a condiment sauce. The simple, 5 ingredient list avoids concerning additives or preservatives.

Ingredients like aged cayenne peppers, vinegar, and garlic may even offer some benefits related to metabolism, inflammation, and heart health. Just be mindful of limiting overall sodium intake and potential GI distress if you are sensitive to spicy foods.

When comparing Frank’s RedHot to other popular hot sauces, it tends to be lower in sodium and sugar. And it lacks some of the more processed ingredients found in certain brands.

An opened bottle can safely be stored at room temperature for years thanks to the vinegar preservation. So keep your Frank’s RedHot handy on the table for adding flavorful heat to all kinds of healthy foods and recipes. Applied sparingly, this classic American hot sauce can be part of an overall balanced diet.

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