Is Ketchup Keto-Friendly?
In the keto diet, whatever you consume can make or break the slimming process. That's why it's important to ensure everything you eat is keto-approved, including condiments like ketchup.
So, can you include ketchup in your keto meal? Is it keto-approved? One way to find out is by examining its nutritional content.
Nutritional Content of Ketchup
The nutritional makeup of ketchup varies per brand.
Each brand uses different ingredients, so the best way to know the contents of ketchup is to evaluate the nutrition facts.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), ketchup, in general, contains 56 calories, 0.1 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbs, and 0.75 grams of protein per 50-gram serving (that's about 5 packets).
Meanwhile, a tablespoon (17 grams) of Heinz ketchup yields 20 calories, zero fat, 5 grams of total carbs, and zero protein. America's Choice Tomato Ketchup has 15 calories, 4 grams of carbs, zero fat, and zero protein per tablespoon.
Where is Ketchup Made From?
Ketchup is basically made from tomatoes. So that means you're devouring the health benefits of tomatoes when you dip your food into a splat of ketchup.
Vitamins A and C are dominant in ketchup. Vitamin, or Retinol, improves vision, immune system, and reproduction.
It's also found to help the heart, kidney, lungs, and other organs function properly.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that fights damaging free radicals, reduces the risk for heart disease, and battles high blood pressure.
And most importantly, ketchup is rich in lycopene, a potent antioxidant that protects against cell damage. It can improve your heart health, give you sun protection, and lower your risks for certain types of cancer.
Is Ketchup Keto-Friendly?
It's really nice to reap all these health benefits from ketchup, but the question is, is it keto-friendly?
Yes, and no.
The answer really depends. Most ketchup brands in the market contain too much sugar and carbs. Yet, you can still enjoy them as long as you consume them in small portions.
Sure, one packet of ketchup won't kick you out of ketosis, but a cup of ketchup might.
This said, you sure want to avoid that grilled pork ribs covered in BBQ sauce or that plate of buffalo wings drenched in spicy ketchup.
Also, as mentioned earlier, the nutritional content of ketchup varies per brand. If you're going to purchase store-bought ketchup, make sure to check the label and see the carb content per serving.
The good news is you'll never have to give up ketchup in your keto journey. Several companies understand that most ketchup brands in the market today are not formulated for keto. So they've come up with low-carb, no-guilt ketchup that keto dieters can devour.
G Hughes Sugar-Free Ketchup, for one, only yields 1 gram of carbs per serving.
LC Foods Low-Carb Ketchup is another great option. Just a gram of carbs per serving.
Ketchup is keto as long as you consume it in small portions. Avoid meals with too much ketchup, pizza, and lasagna, for example. A packet of ketchup shouldn't hurt your keto diet.
When purchasing ketchup in the market, take a few seconds to check the label and see the carb and sugar content per serving.
Ketchup is practically healthy. So if you want to reap the health benefits of ketchup without ruining your keto journey, choose keto-friendly ketchup instead.