One question I get quite often is whether or not it is ok to eat tomato sauce on keto. This has been especially true ever since Miracle Noodles and other brands of low-carb pasta have become so popular. After all, the ability to eat pasta on a keto diet is a game-changer. It is great that there are now low-carb pasta options, but what about the pasta sauce. In particular, can you have tomato-based pasta sauces on the keto diet?
So is tomato sauce keto? The simple answer is that you can get away with a small amount of tomato sauce on the keto diet. However, it does need to be a brand with no added sugar. If you are looking to consume a keto pasta sauce then you will likely need to make it yourself or find a brand that does not add sugar. Most tomato pasta sauces on the market, however, are not keto-friendly.
If you are following a strict ketogenic diet then you are likely trying to keep your net carbs close to 25 per day. That said, though you can have some tomato sauce on keto, the carbs from the tomatoes can quickly add up. With that in mind, let’s look at how many carbs are in a can of tomato sauce to see how much we can eat and still be in ketosis.
Carbs In Tomato Sauce
Almost all of the carbs from a no sugar added can of tomato sauce comes from the tomatoes. Tomatoes are relatively low in carbs but they still contain a decent amount for a keto diet. That said, they are a fruit that you can eat but you need to eat them in moderation. Since tomatoes themselves have a decent number of carbs, we need to make sure we pick a can of tomato sauce with zero added sugar.
For this example, I will be using Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce as our example. The serving size in one can of this tomato sauce is 1/4 of a cup. That said, there are 3 and 1/2 servings in one can of Muir Glen Tomato Sauce. One serving contains 25 calories, 0 fat, 5 total carbs, 1 gram of fiber, and less than one gram of protein.
This equates to roughly 4 net carbs per serving and 14 net carbs per can. As you can see tomato sauce does contain a fair bit of carbs. Of course, it could be worse but you certainly want to be mindful of how much you consume.
That said if you play your cards right you can certainly enjoy some tomato sauce on the keto diet. If you are looking to make some keto pasta sauce just make sure to use keto-friendly ingredients. Thankfully, there are a ton of great keto pasta sauce recipes online. On the other hand, if you are looking for an already made keto pasta sauce, then there are a few companies that make some low-carb tomato-based pasta sauces.
Best Store-Bought Keto Tomato Pasta Sauces
When looking for a store-bought keto tomato pasta sauce there are a few things you are going to want to look out for. The most important thing is that there is no added sugar. In addition, you are going to want to watch out for other high-carb ingredients that might slip in there as well. For example, some sauces contain starchy veggies like carrots. That said, some contain such a small amount that it does not make a big difference. All and all, one 1/2 cup serving should contain less than 6 net carbs on the high end.
The next thing to keep in mind is the fat content. After all, keto is not simply a low-carb diet but also a high-fat diet. Fats are our source of energy on the ketogenic diet. This is why it is important that 70 percent or more of our daily calories come in the form of dietary fats. That said, look for pasta sauces with added fats from things like olive or avocado oil.
My Top 5 Tomato Pasta Sauces
My top pick for a tomato-based pasta sauce is Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce. This sauce is very tasty and contains a very small amount of carbs and a good amount of fat. In fact, one 1/2 cup serving contains 7 grams of fat primarily from olive oil. In addition, it contains just 4 total carbs and 1 gram of fiber.
This means that one serving contains 7 grams of keto-friendly fats with just 3 net carbs. When it comes to keto-friendly tomato sauces these numbers are hard to beat. So if you want to save yourself the trouble of making your own keto tomato pasta sauce, I highly suggest you try Roa’s Marinara.
In addition, they make many other flavors of keto-friendly pasta sauce to choose from. A few good examples being their tomato basil, bolognese, vodka sauce, and arrabbiata sauce just to name a few! All of there sauces are amazing and on a side note, they also make a delicious pizza sauce with only 2 carbs per serving.
Another great keto-approved marinara sauce is made by Yo Mama’s. This marina is one of the most popular tomato pasta sauces in the keto community. This is for a good reason since one serving contains just 4 net carbs. In addition, it contains 4.5 grams of keto-friendly fats.
Since the only oil used is olive oil you can be sure that the fats are from a quality source. Yo Mama’s makes a variety of keto-approved foods including many other varieties of pasta sauces. Some of my favorites include their vodka sauce, burgundy wine, and their tomato basil sauce.
I actually had this pasta sauce for the first time last night. I made spaghetti with miracle noodles and 80/20 ground beef and it tasted pretty darn good. It contains no added sugar and contains just 3 carbs per serving. Though it tasted good, I still prefer Rao’s Marinara. It tastes better and contains more fat from olive oil. That said, this is many people’s favorite keto pasta sauce so give it a try and see for yourself.
Lucini Rustic Tomato Basil sauce only contains 1.5 grams of fat per serving. That said, you can still get plenty of fats if you use a fatty beef or sausage in your recipes. All in all, this is a great choice for pasta sauce on the keto diet.
Dave’s Gourmet is another great choice of pasta sauce for the keto diet. It is made with organic ingredients and tastes amazing. The only downside is that it contains just a bit more carbs and less fat than the other pasta sauces mentioned above. That said, it still is pretty low-carb compared to other brands.
One 1/2 cup serving contains 1.5 grams of fat, 7 total carbs, and 2 grams of fiber. Giving it roughly 5 net carbs per serving. This is still pretty low but when you are working with only 25 per day, a few carbs can make a big difference. That said, it is still a great pasta sauce on certainly worth a try.
#5 Sticks And Bones Bone Broth Pasta Sauce
My number 5 pick is made by Sticks And Bones. These keto-friendly pasta sauces are made with bone broth and taste great. They come in a variety of flavors that are either all or mostly all keto-friendly. Though I have not had the chance to try all of the flavors, they seem to be a solid pick for keto tomato pasta sauce.
The only reason they are number 5 on my list is that they are hard to find in most grocery stores. That is at least at the time of me writing this. However, as someone who has been in the natural food business for nearly 15 years, I have a hunch that this brand is going to grow. So hopefully they will become more widely available soon!
Pasta sauce with no sugar added can be eaten in moderation on the keto diet. That said, if you want to have a keto-friendly pasta sauce then you will likely either need to make it yourself or choose from one of the keto-friendly options.
Thankfully, however, there is an increasing number of keto-friendly products coming out every week it seems. Even now there are plenty of tomato pasta sauces to choose from that will not kick you out of ketosis.