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Ketchup (Supermarket Ketchup) for People with Diabetes - Benefits and Complications.

Ketchup (Supermarket Ketchup) for People with Diabetes - Benefits and Complications.

  By: Editors at DiabetesIQ  |  Published: March 17, 2022   
Published: March 17, 2022   

Ketchup (Supermarket Ketchup) for People with Diabetes - Benefits and Complications.Ketchup (Supermarket Ketchup) for People with Diabetes - Benefits and Complications.
© Tomnex | Dreamstime.com

Many people would agree that in the world of condiments, ketchup is most likely the king. Hardly anything comes to mind when you try to think of a condiment more popular than ketchup. This product of culinary magic makes practically everything taste better. – Imagine a burger or a hotdog without it, for example. Or how about enjoying hash browns and French fries without dipping them into a small cup of ketchup first?

If you are a calorie watcher, we have a good news – ketchup is generally quite low on calories, unless you get carried away and devour half a bottle of it in one sitting, so if used in moderation, ketchup may be considered a neutral condiment. Besides, ketchup contains lycopene, an antioxidant that provides anti-inflammatory properties.


However, when you see the words “ketchup” and “diabetes” in one sentence, the word “ketchup” is more often than not used in a negative connotation. This is mostly because despite of being low on calories, ketchup is usually loaded with sugar and sodium. Besides, because ketchup is so tasty, people often find it difficult not to have too much of it. If you are getting over enthusiastic with ketchup and you are a healthy person, your risk mostly comes down to gaining a couple of extra pounds, but if you are a diabetic, you are facing much more serious outcomes including blood sugar spikes right after the meal as well as developing serious diabetes complications on the long run, such as heart attack and stroke.

Nevertheless, even though ketchup can cause trouble if you have diabetes, you don’t have to completely deprive yourself of it. In fact, if you consume ketchup in moderation, you can certainly enjoy it. But don’t just grab the first ketchup you see on the broad supermarket shelves. Because ketchup is so popular in America, manufacturers provide consumers plenty of choices to satisfy the demand for the tasty condiment. As a result, you will be able to find in your local supermarket an abundance of ketchups that not only vary in flavor and ingredients, but also differ from the nutritional standpoint, giving people with diabetes an opportunity to dip their fries without worrying much about negative outcome. That is if they keep their condiment craving under control, of course.

To succeed in managing your diabetes, when choosing ketchup and other food items, keep in mind that your daily sugar consumption shouldn’t cross 25-30 grams and your daily sodium intake should stay within 2,300 milligrams, which mean that if you buy a bottle of ketchup that will give you a lot of salt or sugar, you will deplete your daily allowance pretty quickly and as a result, will have to avoid something tasty that you would be able to enjoy otherwise.

We are going to show a few examples of ketchups that represent a better choice for people with diabetes and ketchups that are better be passed by while browsing the condiment department in the supermarket.

Primal Kitchen Unsweetened Organic Ketchup

10 calories, 2 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 105 mg sodium per tablespoon

This ketchup is a really good pick for people with diabetes! – Super light – with just 10 calories, low sodium content and just 1 gram of sugar, plus being non-GMO and USDA Organic, while also being Certified Keto and Certified Paleo, this ketchup deserves to be your favorite pick!

The very low sugar content reflects on its taste – this ketchup is a bit more sour than people may expect. The other minus side is its price. This Primal Kitchen product is definitely more expensive than many alternatives, but great products often come with a higher price tag than competition.

 

First Field Jersey Ketchup

15 calories, 3 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 60 mg sodium per tablespoon

The First Field product is a wonderful diabetes-friendly organic ketchup that is made with tomatoes grown on a family farm in New Jersey and spices harvested from various non-GMO farms in America. It doesn’t have any added concentrates, tomato paste, or corn syrup. With just 60 mg of sodium and 2 g of sugar, this product really stands alone.

However, some people find its taste also stands alone, but not to their liking, resembling barbeque sauce more than ketchup. It is also not the lightest ketchup for the wallet, although taking into consideration its nutritional value, it definitely worth paying a bit extra.

 

True Made Foods No Sugar Veggie Ketchup

10 calories, 3 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 135 mg sodium per tablespoon

This ketchup is very light on calories and diabetic-friendly when it comes to sugar content and it is also keto-friendly and paleo-friendly. Despite its low sugar content, this ketchup doesn’t taste as if it lacks sweetness, since it is sweetened with fruits and vegetables such as butternut squash, carrots, and apples.

It is not perfect on salt, however, with its 135 gram sodium content. It is also a bit runny and not as smooth as regular ketchup.

 

Trader Joe's Organic Ketchup

15 calories, 3 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 150 mg sodium per tablespoon

This USDA Organic and non-GMO certified ketchup is a pretty good option for people with diabetes looking for a low-sugar ketchup. It doesn’t contain corn syrup or added sugars.

However, its sodium content is higher than in other diabetes-friendly ketchup options. It’s richer, somewhat smoky flavor sometimes doesn’t go well with people looking for a traditional ketchup taste.

 

Heinz Reduced Sugar Tomato Ketchup

5 calories, 1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 170 mg sodium per tablespoon

With just 5 calories and 1 gram of sugar per serving you can’t go wrong with this ketchup if you have diabetes and If you like Heinz ketchups, you will enjoy the familiar taste you love!

On the negative side, 170 mg of sodium is somewhat high, plus 1 gram of sugar doesn’t give enough sweetness and the ketchup tastes a bit sour, which can be a deal breaker for some people.

 

Not every ketchup is as good as the ones mentioned above. The ketchups shown below are better not to put in your shopping cart due to very high sugar and/or sodium content, both of which works against people managing diabetes.

Victoria Amory Champagne Ketchup

35 calories, 8 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 105 mg sodium per tablespoon

Muir Glen Organic Tomato Ketchup

20 calories, 4 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 240 mg sodium per tablespoon

Whataburger Fancy Ketchup

20 calories, 4 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 200 mg sodium per tablespoon

Sir Kensington's Classic Ketchup

15 calories, 4 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 190 mg sodium per tablespoon

French's Tomato Ketchup

20 calories, 5 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 170 mg sodium per tablespoon

The Bottom Line

Ketchup is arguably the most popular condiment out there and many people don’t even imagine certain foods like hotdogs or burgers with a nice load of ketchup on them. But if you have diabetes, you have to be very careful, as many ketchups are loaded with sugar and sodium, so to still be able to enjoy that super popular and tasty condiment, you have to check the nutritional facts on the ketchup bottle labels to make sure that you only buy ketchup with low content of sugar and sodium. Plus, you need to control the amount of ketchup you consume in a single meal.
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