Have you ever wondered how many carbs are in your sauces? Even the low-carb and keto sauces?

This is your supreme guide to carbs in sauces (with sauce carb charts). Discover what to enjoy and avoid.

Did you know that the sugar in BBQ sauce is the same as the sugar in chocolate sauce?

Diagram showing the carb values in various sources
Carbs in sauces (carb charts)

Which sauces are low-carb?

When you’re making a low-carb dinner, it’s nice to have some delicious low-carb and keto sauces on hand. Whether you cook with the sauces, marinade, serve or dip with them, tasty low-carb sauces can make a meal.

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So stock up your pantry with the best low carb sauces such as guacamole, mustard, sugar-free ketchup, and sugar-free BBQ sauce.

Below, you can see the carb value of each sauce and what is the suggested serving size.

What sauces can you have on keto?

Sauces that are keto need to be extremely low in carbs so you can easily stay within your 20g daily carb limit. Staying within your carb limit will help you stay on track with your keto diet.

So stock up your pantry with the best keto sauces such as aioli, mayonnaise, and herbed butter.

How to check sauce labels

Discovering the carbs in sauces can be shocking. Once you learn how to read nutrition labels you will become a wizard at knowing how to find hidden sugars and hidden carbs.

Most people associate high sugar sauces and high carb sauces to be predominantly found in sweet sauces. What is disturbing, is to discover how many carbs are to be found in savory sauces too.

Avoid all sauces that have added sugar, cane sugar, fruit concentrate, dextrose, glucose liquid, evaporated cane juice, coconut sugar, honey or any of the other 50 names of sugar.

But how do you know the hidden carbs in sauces? The labels can be tricky to understand. You need to avoid sauces that contain wheat, cornflour, potato starch, and tapioca starch.

You also need to make sure you avoid all low carb and keto sauces that contain maltitol. Even though it is not sugar, it will still raise your blood sugars. You will also find maltitol in keto bars and keto snacks.

9 Low-carb sauces – the best and the worst

It’s dinner time, you’re hungry, which are the best low carb sauces and best keto sauces? And which ones do you need to avoid?

Is BBQ sauce keto?

Barbecue sauce can have as much sugar as chocolate sauce. Think of that next time you or your children drown your meat at a BBQ with chocolate BBQ sauce.

Store-bought BBQ sauce: (2 tbsp = 14g net carbs)
RECIPE: Tangy sugar-free BBQ sauce (2 tbsp = 1.1g net carbs)

Is mayonnaise keto?

Yes, mayonnaise is keto as long as there are no added sugars and starches. Homemade mayonnaise is a delicious creamy keto sauce that is made with an egg and your favorite mild-flavored oil such as mild olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, or macadamia oil.

Store-bought mayonnaise: (2 tbsp = 5g net carbs)
RECIPE: 1-minute magic mayonnaise (2 tbsp = 0.1g net carbs)

Is mustard keto?

Mustard is keto, but not the sweetened mustard from a squeeze bottle you would traditionally see at a burger joint or restaurant. Mustard made from mustard powder, however, is very low in carbs.

Store-bought mustard: (2 tbsp = 4g net carbs)
Mustard (made from powder): (1 tsp = 0.1g net carbs)

Is ketchup keto?

Regular ketchup is not keto. It is high in natural sugars and added sugars. Store-bought ketchup also often has high fructose corn syrup and added starches and thickeners.

And even though the suggested serving size is 2 tablespoons, I would estimate children pour between 1/4-1/2 cup of ketchup over their fries. That equates to 16g – 32g carbs, JUST for the sauce (then there are the fries and soda that usually accompany such a meal).

Don’t believe me? Watch next time you are sitting next to children that have a bottle of ketchup, or count how many sachets/packets they use. Individual packets can range from 7g-18g in size.

Store-bought ketchup: (2 tbsp = 9g net carbs)
RECIPE: Sugar-free Instant Pot ketchup (2 tbsp = 2.8g net carbs)

Is balsamic vinegar keto?

No, balsamic vinegar is not keto. But, if you only a small amount, it may be able to be incorporated into your keto diet. Balsamic vinegar is made with vinegar and sugar that are heated and reduced to make a slightly syrupy vinegar.

Store-bought balsamic vinegar: (2 tbsp = 5g net carbs)
Regular vinegar: (2 tbsp = 0g net carbs)

Is soy sauce keto?

Soy sauce can be keto because it is extremely low in carbs, however many people avoid it due to the controversy regarding soy and its potential hormonal effects. Some choose to use coconut aminos instead BUT the sugar content is high and no longer keto friendly.

Store-bought soy sauce: (2 tbsp = 1.6g net carbs)
Coconut aminos: (2 tbsp = 12g net carbs)

Is maple syrup keto?

No, traditional maple syrup is no keto. It is a sugar syrup that has maple flavors or maple essence added. Sugar-free maple syrup is keto as long as it does not contain sweeteners such as maltitol or dextrose.

The values are per 2 tablespoons to keep this carb chart consistent, but the average serving size is 1/4-1/2 cup!

Store-bought maple syrup: (2 tbsp = 26g net carbs)
Sugar-free maple syrup: (2 tbsp = 2g net carbs)

Is vinaigrette keto?

Vinaigrette can be keto, it depends on what brand you buy and how many added sugars there are.

Store-bought vinaigrette: (2 tbsp = 0.8g net carbs)

Is guacamole keto?

Guacamole is lower carb, not keto. As much as we all love avocados, the grams of net carbs can quickly add up. Especially if the guacamole has been made with onions or tomatoes.

Store-bought guacamole: (2 tbsp = 3g net carbs)
RECIPE: Guacamole salsa

Carbs in sauces (carb charts)

We all know sauces will make a meal, sauces will help encourage our children to eat their veggies, and delicious sauces will help to dress up a simple meal into something spectacular. So which sauces can we use?

And scroll to the bottom, you will see some easy recipes for homemade lc and k sauces that can turn a regular dinner from drab to fab.

Diagram showing the carb values of various sources
Carbs in sauces

The best low-carb sauces to keep in your pantry

  • Extra virgin olive oil 0g
  • Macadamia oil 0g
  • Avocado oil 0g
  • Vinegar 0g
  • Mayonnaise 0g
  • Tabasco 0.1g
  • Aioli 0.3g
  • Mustard 0.1g (watch labels for added sugar)
  • Salsa 1.5 g (watch labels for added sugar)

The best pantry items to make keto sauces

These pantry items can be added to the juices that come from cooking meat, to make a simple and tasty low carb sauce.

  • Butter
  • Broth – vegetable, beef, chicken
  • Coconut cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Heavy cream
  • Tomato paste (remember we only use a small amount of this compared to ketchup that is poured over food)

Below are my favourite sauces I make often. Even sprinkling cheese, parmesan, bacon bits, herbs or butter over food can be as tasty as a sauce.

Diagram showing the carbohydrate values in various sources
The worst sauces for a keto diet

5 easy homemade low-carb sauces

All these sauces are the perfect side dish to serve with pork, beef dinners, or chicken recipes.

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  1. Hi, I appreciate all your informations on carbs eat, but dont forget the 1st enemy is sugar. You claim on top of your page thats its all sugar free. If you put sugar replacements or sweetener like aspartame, or any sugar , its worse than sugar. So please only use sugar free when u do not use any sugar substitutes. You can claim a recipe to be sugar free if you use dates, or maple syrup or bananas, like “natural ” sugars.

    1. I’m afraid I completely and politely disagree. Natural sugars are sugar, and to call something with dates or maple syrup to be sugar free is simply incorrect and misleading. They contain sugar and will raise your blood sugars just as much (don’t believe me? Get a blood glucose monitor). What I use is stevia or erythritol. Both do not raise blood sugars at all. I know, I have tested time and time again. Please show me where I have used aspartame. I never have, and never will use that in any of my recipes.

    2. Natural sugars or still sugar!
      I have never seen a recipe from ditchthecarbs using aspartame!
      She uses only stevia and erythritol, neither one will raise your blood sugars.

    3. Please explain why it is worse than sugar.

  2. Hi,
    When i cook with sauces such as soy or teriyaki, should i count the total number of carbs i put in? I understand the meat and veggies absorb some of it, but I’m not drinking the excess sauce left behind in the bowl after i eat the meal.

    1. The best way is to estimate how much sauce you actually consume. Sometimes it’s too tricky, but just being aware of how many carbs are in a sauce and consciously not having it is awesome!

  3. I would love a keto/low carb version of Hoisin sauce – that is my preferred BBQ sauce (sorta like teriyaki but thicker)
    Other than that most of what I like is easy to find or make low carb.