Carbs and Calories in Ketchup: Is Ketchup Keto Friendly?

calories ketchup

Traditional store bought ketchup contains a substantial amount of sugar, or worse, corn syrup.  Although the nutritional breakdown varies by brand, there is approximately a teaspoon of sugar in each tablespoon of ketchup.  So eat ketchup in sparingly while following a low carb diet, like Keto.

If you tend to go overboard on ketchup, it’s best that you avoid this condiment on the Keto diet.  However, you can enjoy a small amount of ketchup in moderation on the Keto diet. 

One tablespoon is a good limit for those on a low carb diet.  That may not sound like much, but if you consume more than that, the carbs can really add up!  Two tablespoons of ketchup contain 9 grams of carbs – too much for a condiment. 

Excess sugar spikes insulin, which can cause you to feel hungrier and in turn, eat more.  When insulin spikes, you may not physically hungry; however, you may still experience gnawing desire to eat.  This phenomenon is called insulin resistant hunger.

There are some sugar-free ketchup brands which use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, which are a better option for folks following the Keto diet. 

Or make your own homemade sugar-free ketchup instead! It has only 1 gram of natural sugar (fructose) per tablespoon, which is solely from tomatoes.  I have included the full recipe in this article, so keep reading…

How Many Carbs are in Ketchup?

  • One tablespoon of ketchup contains 4.5 grams of carbs.
  • A 1/4 cup of ketchup contains 16 grams of carbs.

How Many Calories are in Ketchup?

  • One tablespoon of ketchup contains 19 calories.
  • A 1/4 cup of ketchup contains 67 calories.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size:  1 tablespoon of Ketchup (17 grams)
Calories 19
Total Fat 0 grams 0%
Saturated fat 0 grams 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 grams
Monounsaturated fat 0 grams
Cholesterol 0 milligrams 0%
Sodium 154.2 milligrams 6%
Potassium 53.6 milligrams 1%
Total Carbohydrate 4.5 grams 1%
Dietary fiber 0.1 grams 0%
Sugar 3.7 grams
Protein 0.2 grams 0%
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 0% Iron 0%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 0%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 0%

Ketchup Origin

carbs ketchup

Did you know that ketchup was once traditionally a condiment made from egg whites, mushrooms, oysters, mussels, or walnuts?  But today, the term ketchup (also called catsup, ketsup, red sauce, and tomato sauce) typically refers to tomato ketchup.

Ketchup, as we know and love it today, is a sweet and tangy sauce made from tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar, and an assortment of spices. The seasonings may vary among different brands, and can include onions, allspice, coriander, cloves, cumin, garlic, and mustard.  Celery, cinnamon or ginger can sometimes be added as well.

Heinz is the market leader in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Hunt’s has the second biggest share of the US market.  In most parts of the UK, Australia and New Zealand, ketchup also called “tomato sauce” or “red sauce”.   Ketchup is used as a condiment to foods like burgers, fries, hot dogs and even on scrambled eggs, but the options don’t end there.  It can also be brushed over grilled meat, added to recipes like meatloaf and meat pies, or used as marinate for steak.

Ketchup Brands

  • Heinz
  • Hunts
  • Sir Kensington
  • French’s
  • Annie’s
  • Del Monte
  • Tops

Health Benefits

If you love ketchup, don’t beat yourself up overeating a lot of it.  This popular condiment is actually associated with some pretty amazing health benefits.  For starters, ketchup is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol.  It is also rich in vitamin C and potassium.  It is also a good source of vitamin A, a key nutrient to support a healthy immune system and healthy eyesight.

Ketchup is a good source of Lycopene.  Lycopene is known to inhibit the androgen receptor expression in prostate cancer cells.  This important antioxidant also reduces prostate cancer cell proliferation and modulate cell-cycle progression.  You can get a good dose of lycopene from tomatoes and tomato products like pasta sauce and tomato juice as well.

Men who eat tomato sauce a few times a week can reduce their risk of prostate cancer.  According to a 2002 study of 47,000 men conducted in the united stated, the risk is reduced by around 20%.

keto ketchup

Lycopene, which gives tomatoes their red color, could also help improve fertility in men, another study discovered.  The powerful antioxidant, lycopene may increase sperm count by up to 70%.  Regular consumption of lycopene rich foods like ketchup also increases swimming speed of sperm and reduce the number of abnormal sperm in semen samples.

Tests carried out in Finland found that ketchup could reduce LDL cholesterol, the unhealthy type of cholesterol.  In a 2007 study, subjects who consumed ketchup with each of their daily meals saw a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol levels by 13%.

Side Effects

Tomato ketchup is high in sugar and sodium.  This food is not a good source of fiber or protein.

The distilled vinegar that goes into making this condiment made from genetically modified (GMO) corn, which is laced with chemicals and pesticides.

Ketchup contains concentrated, cooked down tomatoes that are strained to remove seeds and skin, and then they are cooked again for several hours over high heat.  This cooking process removes many of the essential vitamins and minerals naturally contained in tomatoes.

The main ingredient, high fructose corn syrup, is a very unhealthy additive.  High fructose corn syrup is also made from corn that has been genetically modified. Corn syrup raises blood sugar levels in the body and is a main cause of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Other Uses

  • Use ketchup to polish tarnished copper, like costume jewelry.
  • Use it to shine anything made of silver, like silverware.
  • Use it to shine your car’s alloys.
  • Use it as marinate for meats, like steak.
  • Use it to tone ash blonde hair and achieve a more natural golden hue.
  • Use it to repair chlorine damaged hair and remove green tones from tresses.
  • Use it to remove rust from metals by covering the rusted item in ketchup and waiting a few hours before rinsing.
  • Use it as fake blood for Halloween costumes or for actors in scary screenplays.
  • Use it on paper with your kits as a non-toxic finger paint.
  • Use it on your skin to soothe bug bites.

Quick and Easy Keto Ketchup Recipe


  • ¾ cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons stevia or natural sweetener of choice that measures like sugar.
  • 3 tablespoon white vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika


  • Whisk all ingredients in a small saucepan while simmering over low heat, until smooth.
  • Reduce for about 20-30 minutes over low heat, with a cover, until the ketchup thickens. Stir occasionally while simmering.
  • Taste the ketchup and adjust seasonings, if desired. You may wish to add more sweetener or salt at this point.
  • Pour the ketchup into a blender and puree for a few seconds until the texture is smooth. 
  • Transfer to a sterilized container and refrigerate.  You can store it in the cupboard, but it has a longer shelf life in the refrigerator.

Sugar in Ketchup

ketchup calories

Ketchup and tomato sauce, two of the most popular tomato-based products, are often loaded with sugar. Ketchup provides 1 teaspoon of sugar per 1 tablespoon of product. Considering most people use double that amount, if not more, this can quickly add up.

Potassium in Ketchup

Tomatoes are a high potassium fruit.  There are over 53 milligrams of potassium in just one tablespoon of ketchup.  Condensed tomato products like ketchup and tomato paste rack up a lot of potassium in just a small amount.  For this reason, consuming ketchup on a regular basis can help you achieve your daily potassium needs. 

Gluten in Ketchup

Heinz, the most popular American brand is gluten-free.  Those sensitive to vinegar made from wheat grains, can rest assured.  Heinz reports that its distilled vinegar is made from corn, not wheat.  If you normally use another brand, just check the product label to ensure there is no wheat or wheat-based products added. 

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

Recent Posts