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The Top 4 Low-Sugar and Low-Carb Ketchup Brands, Plus 3 Homemade Ketchup Recipes

If you're starting a low-carb diet like keto or just trying to watch your sugar intake and guard your blood sugar levels against dangerous spikes, condiments are often silent saboteurs. This article has the details on the true ingredients in ketchup (sometimes spelled catsup), which brands are the healthiest, plus three homemade low-carb ketchup recipes.

The Contents of Ketchup

As far as condiments go, ketchup isn't the worst. It's low-calorie (about 15 calories per tablespoon, way less than mayonnaise) and primarily made with tomatoes, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Even fully cooked and processed, the tomatoes still contain vitamins like A and C, as well as lycopene, an antioxidant that can help lower inflammation, fight against free radical damage, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

That being said, many commercial ketchups also contain added sugar, specifically high fructose corn syrup. While there are some more natural brands of ketchup out there, your best bet may be to make your own homemade ketchup using a simple low-carb recipe.

The Top 4 Healthier Ketchup Brands

If you're looking to buy ketchup, here are the nutrition facts for some of the top brands so you can compare and contrast and make the best choice for your diet and health. Those on the ketogenic or keto diet know that watching their net carbs means consuming as little sugar as possible, so when it comes to condiments, no sugar is the best amount. Keep that in mind as you peruse these numbers.

1. Heinz

For some, this is the classic brand of ketchup and there's simply no making meatloaf or having a hot dog (or veggie dog) without it. While Heinz hasn't always been the healthiest brand, they now proudly boast that there's no high fructose corn syrup and no GMO ingredients in their bottles.

  • Calories: 15 
  • Sodium: 160 milligrams 
  • Total Carbohydrates: 4 grams 
  • Sugars: 4 grams
  • Vitamin A: 2% Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin C: 2% RDI

2. Annie’s Natural Organic Ketchup

Vegan, gluten free, and made without artificial preservatives, Annie's brand ketchup is among the healthier choices you can make when purchasing condiments, especially if you're looking for items specifically designed for vegetarian and vegan diets and meal plans. Here's the breakdown of a 1-tablespoon serving size of their ketchup.

  • Calories: 20
  • Sodium: 130 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrate: 5 grams
  • Sugars: 4 grams (3 grams of which are added sugars)
  • Vitamin content not listed

3. 365 Organic Tomato Ketchup

This Whole Foods in-store brand guarantees that all of their products are either certified organic or are enrolled with the Non-GMO Project, an organization that ensures genetically modified organisms are not included in food items.

  • Calories: 20
  • Sodium: 160 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrates: 5 grams
  • Sugars: 4 grams
  • Vitamin A: 2% RDI
  • Vitamin C: 4% RDI

4. Trader Joe’s Organic Ketchup

We've saved the best for last. Trader Joe's brand of organic ketchup points out that it's an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as having the following nutritional profile.

  • Calories: 15
  • Sodium: 150 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrates: 3 grams
  • Sugars: 2 grams
  • Vitamin A: 2% RDI
  • Vitamin C: 0% RDI

The Top 4 Healthier Ketchup Brands

The Top 3 Homemade Low-Carb Ketchup Recipes

Low-carb and sugar-free ketchup is hard to find on grocery store shelves, so if you've got to be especially vigilant with these substances, it may be time to consult a cookbook for keto-friendly alternatives or diabetic recipe notes. We've found a few examples of low-carb, no-sugar keto recipes for ketchup to get you started.

1. Sugar-Free Ketchup Recipe

This sugar-free keto ketchup recipe comes from Low Carb Yum and involves kitchen tools such as a hand blender, a saucepan, a wooden spoon, and an airtight container for storage. It takes about 30 minutes total time to prep and complete.

Sugar-Free Ketchup Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 28 ounces canned whole tomatoes drained
  • 2.5 ounces tomato paste (70 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt crystals
  • 1 tablespoon Sukrin Gold (a low-calorie alternative to brown sugar—optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine tomatoes, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, and spices in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Stir regularly for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Use a hand blender (immersion blender) to purée the whole tomatoes into a sauce consistency.
  4. Add sea salt and Sukrin Gold to taste.
  5. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens for roughly 5 to 10 more minutes.
  6. Allow to cool and then transfer into an airtight container. This recipe can store in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

2. Homemade Ketchup Recipe

This homemade sugar-free ketchup recipe from Flavcity is another great way to avoid the sugar and carb impact of store-bought ketchup. Though it takes a little longer to prepare (48 minutes), it also lasts longer in storage (for up to 6 months).

Homemade Ketchup Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 ounces organic tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons monk fruit sweetener, stevia, or Sukrin Gold brown sugar substitute
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon each onion and garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put all the ingredients at once into a medium-size pot, and mix while bringing to a slow simmer.
  2. Stir occasionally (every 5 minutes or so) and test it for taste after 15 minutes. Depending on your preference, add more monk fruit to make it sweeter or more vinegar to cut back on the sweetness.
  3. After 30 minutes, leave it to simmer for about 15 minutes more before using a hand blender to whip it to a smooth consistency. Your mixture may seem more watery than regular ketchup at this stage, but don't worry, as it will fully thicken once it cools.
  4. Pour the mixture into an airtight container, allow it to cool, and then store it safely in the fridge for 3 weeks, or the freezer for up to 6 months.

3.  Keto Low-Carb Sugar-Free Ketchup Recipe

Here's one more alternative recipe from Wholesome Yum, this one with a full rundown of sweetener options from erythritol to Swerve brand sugar alternatives.

 Keto Low-Carb Sugar-Free Ketchup Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup powdered erythritol (or powdered monk fruit)
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar for paleo)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon mustard powder

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Begin by whisking all the ingredients together in a saucepan until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes over low heat until it thickens to your preference. Stir occasionally and taste so you can adjust the flavor with either more sweetener or more salt.
  3. Purée the mixture at the end for best consistency (optional, but recommended for optimal texture outcome).


Catch Up Ketchup

Low-carb condiments and salad dressings can help you eat healthier and more natural foods, plus give your weight-loss goals a leg up. By removing the sugar and reducing the carb content of ketchup with homemade recipes, you go that much further in your journey to feeling your best.

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