When starting the keto diet it can be confusing trying to figure out what is and is not keto. This is especially true because so many people in our community can’t seem to agree on certain foods. One area in particular that gets much debate is with condiments. The two that come up the most are ketchup and mayo. Since I have already made an article on keto-friendly mayo, today lets discuss ketchup on the keto diet.
Let’s quickly answer the question: Is ketchup keto? Simply put, most ketchup brands are not keto-friendly. In fact, just about all of the calories in ketchup is in the form of carbohydrates, making them a poor choice for the keto diet. Thankfully, however, some brands of ketchup do not use added sugar and can be eaten in moderation on the keto diet!
Back in the day, I thought the only way to lose weight was to eat bland chicken breast and broccoli. I thought that even adding a little bit of flavor to my foods from condiments was bad going to ruin my diet. Don’t get me wrong, I did lose weight when I did that diet. However, it was miserable and quite frankly there was no reason to be that strict. You got to have a little flavor with your food if you want to stick to a diet for the long term. In my opinion, the best way to combat bland food is with condiments.
Of all of the condiments, ketchup is by far my favorite so I wanted to find out how I could enjoy it on the keto diet. Like I previously stated there are some brands of ketchup that are ok for the keto diet. So thankfully, I didn’t have to give up ketchup in order to stay in ketosis. We will talk about those brands later but for now, let us look at why most brands of ketchup are not keto-friendly.
Why Most Ketchup Brands Are Not Keto Approved
If you where to go to your favorite restaurant they are very unlikely to carry keto-friendly ketchup. Most popular ketchup brands are loaded with sugar. In many cases, they are even sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Because of this almost all major brands of ketchup you probably grew up on are off-limits for the keto diet.
After all, most people eat roughly 25 or fewer net carbs per day when on a keto diet. Just one tablespoon of ketchup contains at least 4 grams of net carbs and in some cases, closer to 5 net carbs. That said, even if you tried to work ketchup into your net carbs, just one tablespoon would eat up to one-fifth of your daily net carbs.
If you ask me it is simply not worth the carbs to even consider most ketchup brands for the keto diet. This begs the question, what is the best brand of ketchup for the keto diet.
Best Brands Of Ketchup For The Keto Diet
When looking for the best ketchup for the keto diet there are a few things you want to look for. The most important thing is whether or not the ketchup has added sugar. Be careful here, however, as some brands posing as made without sugar still use ingredients like honey or agave syrup.
Since tomatoes themselves contain a fair amount of carbs, any added sugar is going to be too much. Secondly, if the ketchup is sweetened, I am looking for one that uses a high-quality sweetener. Lastly, I am simply looking for ketchup that tastes good. With that in mind, here are my top 3 favorite bottles of ketchup for the keto diet.
My go-to keto ketchup brand is made by Primal Kitchen. This brand has been around for a while now and only uses high-quality ingredients. It contains no added sugars and only 2 total carbs per tablespoon. There is, however, one gram of sugar that comes naturally from the tomatoes.
That said, this ketchup contains less than half the carbs found in most other ketchup brands on the market. They also use organic ingredients and the product simply tastes amazing. In addition, you can find primal kitchen products online and at many grocery stores nationwide! Primal Kitchen also makes spicy keto-approved ketchup as well. Just in case you were looking for an extra kick!
My second favorite choice for keto ketchup is made by Health Garden. It is sweetened with xylitol and tastes amazing. One tablespoon contains just 3 totals carbs with 2 carbs coming in the form of sugar alcohol from xylitol. These carbs do not affect blood sugar as other carbs do so you can subtract them from the total carbs to get your net carbs.
That said, one serving contains just 1 net carb. Be careful with this ketchup, however, as xylitol is toxic to dogs and other animals. So just be careful not to leave this ketchup lying around your furry friends.
Another great keto ketchup is made by Guy Gone Keto. This keto-friendly ketchup contains no added sugars. It is instead sweetened with an allulose, monk fruit, and stevia mix. All of which are perfectly acceptable sweeteners for the keto diet. In addition, this ketchup has added MCT oil. Giving it a few extra credit points and possibly making it the most keto-friendly ketchup on this list.
One tablespoon contains just one carb. That said, this is a great choice for ketchup on the keto diet. The only downside to this keto ketchup is that I have never seen it in stores. Thankfully, you can order it online through amazon.
Other Keto-Friendly Condiments
As you can see as long as you pick a good brand, you can enjoy ketchup on the keto diet. But what about other condiments for the keto diet? There are actually plenty of condiments you can enjoy on the keto diet. Both mayo and mustard, for example, are very low in carbs. So you can enjoy them as well without getting kicked out of ketosis.
However, you should take into consideration that many mayo brands are made with low-quality ingredients. I go into detail on this in my article on keto-friendly mayo. But basically many mayo brands low-quality ingredients such as soybean and canola oil. Though they may not kick you out of ketosis, it is probably best to use a higher quilty mayo such as Chosen Foods avocado oil mayo. The only oil used in this mayo is from avocado. So this mayo is not only low in carbs but also high in keto-friendly fats!
Mustard, on the other hand, is pretty much calorie and carb-free. So there really is not too much to worry about there. It does technically have some calories but they are very few. Another good condiment for the keto diet is hot sauce. Like mustard, it is just about calorie-free. There are many good hot sauces to choose from but my favorite is probably Cholula. They make a variety of flavors that all taste amazing. But my favorite flavor would have to be the chipotle hot sauce.
Another great one is Sriracha sauce. It is very much similar to the hot sauce but it is a much thicker chili sauce. Technically it has sugar in the ingredient list but it only contains one gram per teaspoon. That said, you probably don’t need to use much more than that to add a bit of spice to your foods. If you like spicy foods you can put Sriracha on just about anything.
Though most brands of ketchup are not keto-friendly there are a handful of companies that make keto-approved ketchup. In addition, there are plenty of other condiments that are great for the keto diet. Just do your research and make sure to read the nutrition label before you buy it. In addition, if there are certain ingredients you are trying to stay away from, you might want to read the ingredient list as well.
Many no sugar added ketchup brands use sucralose and other sweeteners many people try to avoid. The same goes for mayo as well. Most mayo companies use low-quality ingredients. Even some that say made with olive oil or avocado oil still contain these ingredients. Remember just because it was made with olive oil doesn’t mean they didn’t use canola oil as well. Look for condiments that are low in carbs and contain high-quality ingredients.