While on the keto diet, what you eat can make or break your success. That’s why it is essential to ensure what you eat is keto-friendly, including condiments like ketchup.
So, the ultimate question comes down to whether you can eat ketchup and is ketchup keto even?
The quick and dirty answer to your question is no. The standard ketchup at restaurants and those found in most stores are not keto-friendly. A single tablespoon contains about 3.7 grams of sugar, and as you know, too many sugars and carbs will kick you out of ketosis and stop your weight loss.
But let’s dig a little further into what ketchup is made from, the nutritional aspects to it and the alternatives.
What is Ketchup Made From?
Your standard bottled ketchup is made from tomatoes with added sugar, and vinegar, with seasonings and spices. Depending on the brand, your spices may vary, but that is the main recipe.
The tomatoes in ketchup are very healthy for you and a great way to get some added vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A and C.
Vitamin A is vital for vision, the immune system, and reproduction organs. It also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the risk for heart disease and high blood pressure.
Ketchup is also rich in lycopene, a potent antioxidant that protects against cell damage and possibly lowers your risks for certain types of cancer.
The part that is not so great is the sugar. Most store-bought bottles add high fructose corn syrup. This is not only bad for the keto diet but also bad for your body. You will want to avoid this type of ketchup, even if its just a tiny scoop. High Fructose corn syrup is not recognized or digested well by the body.
Some homemade recipes call for brown sugar which is much better, but again, this is not keto-approved. Yo can use a keto sugar substitute in the recipe however. Trial and error always make the best recipes!
It’s nice to reap all these health benefits from ketchup, but the question still remains, is ketchup keto or can it be?
What is Keto?
The Ketogenic Diet is a low carb, high fat diet that helps you lose weight by forcing your body into a state of ketosis. On the Keto diet, you force your body to shed pounds by using up fat rather than carbohydrates and glucose.
On a standard diet, we eat a lot of carbohydrates, both from grains and vegetables. From these carbs, the body produces both insulin and glucose. The body then feeds on the glucose to produce energy and stores fat, rather than burning it.
With keto, however, your body adjusts to living with few carbs and turns to feed off of fat. So you can lose weight rather quickly, improve your overall health, and even improve your skin, body, and mind.
Is Ketchup Keto-Friendly?
I am going to be honest- I love ketchup! It is a fantastic condiment and would put it on everything if I could get away with it- even mashed potatoes! Yep, its a struggle.
So we know that regular ketchup is high in carbohydrates and sugar, making it sadly not a keto-friendly option.
Now, if you are out somewhere or with friends and accidentally do a dip or just in need of a little flavor, one tablespoon most likely won’t do much harm. Ultimately you will want to stir clear of this if possible.
There are a few organic and sugar-free ketchup that can be used sparingly as their carb count is much lower than the standard versions.
An alternative to ketchup is our absolute favorite- Keto Yum Yum Sauce. This stuff is beyond amazing, trust me, and give it a chance. You might realize that you don’t miss ketchup as much as you think! Perfect to dip french fried turnips or turnip hash-browns in!
Another option would be hot sauce or mustard instead of ketchup as they are far healthier for you and adhere to the keto guidelines.
Similar to ketchup, BBQ sauce is also not advised as the store-bought brands contain too much sugar. You can make your own homemade Keto BBQ sauce if you like, however, which is also great for dipping and makes an excellent ketchup replacement as well.
So back to the answer we are here, and that is no, ketchup is not keto-friendly. But don’t give up hope just yet!
Are There Keto-Friendly Ketchup Options?
Also, as discussed earlier, the nutritional content of ketchup varies per brand. So if you are a die hard ketchup lover, there is still some hope for you!
One option is that you can make homemade sugar free ketchup yourself! You can customize the recipe to your liking and desired taste. Or for the rest of us that can’t make enough ketchup to satisfy our daily need (ha!) you can purchase keto-friendly versions from a store.
If you’re going to purchase store-bought ketchup, be sure to check the label , ingredients and the carb content per serving.
Below are our favorite low-carb, no-guilt ketchup that keto dieters can enjoy without causing havoc! You can find these at your local health foods store or online.
(Check Out Primal Kitchen Ketchup Here)
Primal kitchen is our top choice for organic unsweetened ketchup that is ready to eat! It has the same smooth consistency as regular ketchup without an of the sugars. You really won’t miss much with this option!
Ingredients: Organic Tomato Concentrate, Organic Balsamic, Less than 2% of Salt, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Spices
Total Carbohydrates: 2 g per tablespoon
(Check out G Huges Sugar Free Ketchup Here)
G Hughes makes sugar free ketchup and BBQ that tastes nearly like the original. They add sucralose in place of sugar so it gives it that more store bought flavor you may be used to so this is hardly a stretch for those looking for true ketchup to use while on keto.
Ingredients: Tomato concentrate, vinegar, modified cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, spices and sucralose.
Total Carbohydrates: 1 g per tablespoon
Now you are aware of the goodness ketchup can bring to our lives but in a variety of options that are acceptable for the keto diet. You want to make lifestyle changes while you are on this journey and not just temporary diet changes.
Finding alternative condiments are just one simple way to ensure you stay on track with your diet plan and don’t sacrifice too much, discouraging you from continuing the path. The Keto lifestyle will bring you change in a number of ways if you stay on top of the foods you eat. So stay healthy and happy and enjoy your sugar free ketchup!