Your Guide To Keto-Friendly Sauces And Dressings

keto friendly sauces


If you’ve attempted or are currently following the ketogenic diet, you’ve probably experienced first hand how the low-carb requirements of this diet can leave you feeling hangry. Luckily, adding sauces to your keto-approved veggies, meats and seafood can make your meals feel more satisfying. Keep in mind though that not all sauces are created equal according to the ketogenic diet.

Since the keto diet usually requires you to eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs daily, some of these sauces are too high in carbs to fit into your day-to-day rotation. Here are some guidelines to help you decide which sauces are best to consume on keto and which you should probably avoid.

Stick to fats.

keto friendly sauces

The ketogenic diet encourages you to fill up on fats more than any other macronutrient. So it’s only natural that high-fat seasonings like olive oil, butter and coconut oil are generally favored when it comes to cooking on keto. All three of these seasonings have zero net carbs per 100-gram serving, fitting into your low-carb diet. What’s more, they’re all low in sugar.

Mustard beats ketchup.

keto friendly sauces
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When you’re thinking of what condiment to use for your burgers and hot dogs, opt for mustard instead of ketchup. The latter has a whopping 26 net carbs per 100-gram serving size and it’s full of sugar. In contrast, mustard has only six net carbs for the same serving size and little-to-no sugar. When choosing your mustard at the grocery store, make sure that you read the label carefully. Some honey mustard brands may have 10 grams or more of carbs while classic Dijon mustard typically has no carbs at all.

Choose your oils wisely.

keto friendly sauces

Natural, age-old oils that require minimal processing like olive oil, ghee, avocado oil, almond oil, peanut oil, sesame oil and fish oil are keto-approved. Newer oils that are more processed and have been created within the past 60 years, on the other hand, should be avoided or consumed infrequently. These oils include corn oil, soy oil, sunflower oil and cottonseed oil — among others. These oils generally have higher-than-recommended levels of saturated fat.

Pick guacamole over salsa.

keto friendly sauces
Kjokkenutstyr Net / Flickr

Next time you’re picking a dipping sauce for your tortilla chips at a Mexican restaurant, go for guacamole instead of salsa. Guacamole has just three net carbs per 100-gram serving whereas salsa has six. What’s more, avocado-loaded guacamole is filled with healthy fats that are essential to keeping you satisfied on keto.

Steer clear of sweet sauces and condiments.

keto friendly sauces

BBQ sauce, maple syrup and jam, while delicious, are not your friend if you’re trying to follow the low-carb, low-sugar ketogenic diet. As you probably could have guessed, maple syrup and jam are both high in sugar and carbs — a 100-gram serving of maple syrup has 68 net carbs and the same serving size of jam has 69. BBQ sauce, while usually consumed with meat, is also surprisingly high in carbs with 40 net carbs for a 100-gram serving. The same serving size also contains a whopping 33 grams of sugar. The good news is that seasoning your meat with garlic, butter, pepper and some salt is equally delicious and even more nutritious than slathering it with BBQ sauce.

Get creative with your pasta sauce.

keto friendly sauces
Unsplash/Eaters Collective

We love eating a simple bowl of spaghetti with tomato sauce as much as the next person, but you’ll want to avoid this sauce or make your own homemade variety if you’re on keto. Store-bought tomato sauce tends to be high in carbs and sugar, making it a no-no for keto-followers. If you’re too pressed for time to make your own tomato sauce from scratch, consider instead seasoning your pasta with olive oil or butter and Parmesan cheese. If you’re looking for something a little heavier, consider making pasta with pesto sauce. Traditional pesto sauce is made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, grated Parmesan, olive oil and salt. It’s filled with healthy fats and only contains four net carbs per 100-gram serving — keto-approved to the T.

Your go-to list for keto-approved condiments:

keto friendly sauces

Here’s a list of popular condiments that you’ll want to load up on when following the ketogenic diet. The amount of net carbs listed next to each condiment is for a 100-gram serving.

Best condiments to eat on keto:

  • Butter — 0 net carbs
  • Olive oil — 0 net carbs
  • Coconut oil — 0 net carbs
  • Mayonnaise — 1 net carb
  • Béarnaise Sauce — 2 net carbs
  • Aioli — 2 net carbs
  • Tabasco / hot sauce — 2 net carbs
  • Heavy cream — 3 net carbs
  • Vinaigrette — 3 net carbs
  • Guacamole — 3 net carbs
  • Soy sauce — 4 net carbs
  • Cream cheese — 4 net carbs

Condiments that are okay to eat on keto:

  • Salsa — 6 net carbs
  • Mustard — 6 net carbs
  • Pesto — 8 net carbs


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