Is Mayo Keto? The Ultimate Guide to Sauces, Dressings, and Condiments
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Is Mayo Keto? The Ultimate Guide to Sauces, Dressings, and Condiments

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Is Mayo Keto? The Ultimate Guide to Sauces, Dressings, and Condiments

Posted 8 months ago

SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

Sauces, condiments, and salad dressings are a great way to add healthy fat and loads of flavor to your Keto meals for minimal carbs.

However, not all sauces and dressings are low in carbs. Some may contain hidden sugars, even if they don't necessarily taste sweet.

Here's our guide to which condiments, sauces, and salad dressings are Keto-friendly.

What Condiments Are Keto?

Making yourself a sandwich on Keto bread? Here's which condiments are A-OK and which to steer clear of.

Mayo

  • Net carbs: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Is mayo Keto? Yes

Mayonnaise is a creamy and tangy Keto-friendly condiment that can be used on sandwiches, in salads, and in a variety of other recipes.

Ketchup

  • Net carbs: 8 grams per 2 tablespoons
  • Is ketchup Keto? No

Ketchup contains a surprisingly high amount of sugar. Although you may be able to get away with small amounts of it, it's generally not Keto friendly.

Mustard

  • Net carbs: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Is mustard Keto? Yes

Mustard is Keto-friendly and a great way to add some zip to sandwiches and recipes.

Relish

  • Net carbs: 5 grams per tablespoon
  • Is relish Keto? No

Most relish is made from sweet pickles, so it's not Keto friendly. However, dill pickle relish is Keto, if you're able to find it.

What Salad Dressing Is Keto?

A sugary salad dressing can ruin the macros of the most Keto-friendly salad. Here's a guide to some of the most popular dressings.

Caesar

  • Net carbs: 1 gram per two tablespoons
  • Is Caesar dressing Keto? Yes

Like most creamy salad dressings, Caesar is Keto-friendly — making Caesar salads (sans croutons) an ideal Keto meal.

Ranch

  • Net carbs: 4 grams per two tablespoons
  • Is ranch dressing Keto? Yes

Ranch dressing is also Keto-friendly. Carb counts can vary significantly between brands, though — so be sure to check the label.

Blue Cheese

  • Net carbs: 1 gram per two tablespoons
  • Is blue cheese dressing Keto? Yes

Blue cheese dressing is high in fat and very low in carbs, making it an ideal salad dressing for Keto.

Italian

  • Net carbs: 3 grams per two tablespoons
  • Is Italian dressing Keto? Yes

Unlike many other oil-based dressings, Italian doesn't contain sugary fruit juice or added sugar — so it has a low carb count.

Thousand Island

  • Net carbs: 3 grams per two tablespoons
  • Is Thousand Island dressing Keto? Yes

For a Keto Reuben, Thousand Island dressing is essential. Fortunately, it's perfectly Keto-friendly.

Balsamic

  • Net carbs: 4 grams per two tablespoons
  • Is balsamic dressing Keto? Yes

Most balsamic vinaigrettes are Keto. However, many other oil-based vinaigrette dressings — especially those that are fruit-flavored — contain added sugar. It's important to check the Nutrition Facts label.

Which Sauces Are Keto?

Wondering which sauces and dips are Keto? Here's a guide to some of the most common ones.

Soy Sauce

  • Net carbs: 1 gram per tablespoon
  • Is soy sauce Keto? Yes

Soy sauce is a staple in many types of Asian cuisine, and it's low in carbs — making it a good fit for Keto. For a soy-free alternative, consider coconut aminos.

Alfredo Sauce

  • Net carbs: 4 grams per ¼ cup
  • Is Alfredo sauce Keto? Yes

In small amounts, Alfredo sauce — which is made from heavy cream and cheese — is Keto friendly. Perfect with shrimp and zoodles!

Buffalo Sauce

  • Net carbs: 0 grams per tablespoon
  • Is buffalo sauce Keto? Yes

Buffalo sauce is a combination of two Keto friendly ingredients: hot sauce and butter. Bring on the buffalo wings!

Tomato Sauce

  • Net carbs: 2 grams per ¼ cup
  • Is tomato sauce Keto? Yes

Tomato sauce can be used to make a variety of other tomato-based sauces and is also often used in soups or casseroles.

Hollandaise Sauce

  • Net carbs: 1 gram per two tablespoons
  • Is Hollandaise sauce Keto? Yes

Hollandaise is a creamy sauce made from eggs, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. It's often served with breakfast, but it's good on a variety of dishes.

BBQ Sauce

  • Net carbs: 14 grams per two tablespoons
  • Is BBQ sauce Keto? No

Unfortunately, most barbecue sauces contain both sugar and ketchup, so they're not Keto friendly. However, you can find sugar-free versions.

Cocktail Sauce

  • Net carbs: 18 grams per ¼ cup
  • Is cocktail sauce Keto? No

Unfortunately, cocktail sauce is loaded with sugar. Although shrimp is a great Keto appetizer, you'll need to skip the cocktail sauce.

Hot Sauce

  • Net carbs: 0 grams per teaspoon
  • Is hot sauce Keto? Yes

Hot sauce is extremely low in carbs and a great way to add some flavor and spice to bland meals.

Teriyaki Sauce

  • Net carbs: 3 grams per tablespoon
  • Is teriyaki sauce Keto? Yes

Teriyaki is a borderline Keto sauce. It's important to check the label because many brands may contain more sugar.

Marinara Sauce

  • Net carbs: 5 grams per ½ cup
  • Is marinara sauce Keto? Yes

In small amounts, marinara sauce is Keto-friendly. It can be used as a dip, pasta sauce, or pizza sauce.

Spaghetti Sauce

  • Net carbs: 5 grams per ½ cup
  • Is spaghetti sauce Keto? Yes

Spaghetti sauce, like marinara, can be Keto-friendly in small amounts. However, some grocery store brands contain larger amounts of added sugar. Be sure to check the label.

Worcestershire Sauce

  • Net carbs: 1 gram per 1 teaspoon
  • Is Worcestershire sauce Keto? Yes

Worcestershire is a good source of umami flavor. A teaspoon contains one gram of carbs, but a little goes a long way — so you won't need much.

Tartar Sauce

  • Net carbs: 4 grams per two tablespoons
  • Is tartar sauce Keto? Yes

Tartar sauce, which is commonly served with fish, is a Keto-friendly sauce made from mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill, capers, and pickles.

Tzatziki Sauce

  • Net carbs: 1 gram per 2 tablespoons
  • Is tzatziki sauce Keto? Yes

Tzatziki is a Greek sauce made from yogurt and cucumbers. It's Keto friendly, along with a variety of Greek meats and vegetables — making the cuisine a great choice for Keto meal inspiration.

Yum Yum Sauce

  • Net carbs: 4 grams per two tablespoons
  • Is yum yum sauce Keto? Yes

In small amounts, yum yum sauce can be Keto-friendly. It typically contains mayonnaise, ketchup, and some added sugar, along with a few other seasonings, and is served at Hibachi restaurants. You should check the label, if possible, to ensure the one you buy doesn't contain too many carbs.

How to Identify and Avoid High-Carb Sauces

Sauces can be tricky. Some that don't necessarily taste sweet may be loaded with sugar, and others may contain thickeners that increase their carb count.

That's why it's important also to check the Nutrition Facts for sauces and condiments if you're able to. Nutrition can vary from brand to brand, so checking the Nutrition Facts label ensures that you have the most accurate information.

To determine the carb count, check the total carbohydrates on the food label, then subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols. This gives you the net carb content, which is the value that many people on Keto choose to track. 

Generally, you'll want to be wary of any sauces that taste sweet, that are sticky, or that are thick and glossy. These sauces are most likely to contain hidden carbs from sugar or thickening agents.

Additionally, fat-free dressings often contain more carbs to compensate for the lack of fat. Full-fat options are usually your best bet for Keto.

If you don't have access to a label, you can also check Carb Manager's food database. Most likely, we've already got it in the app — ready to be logged in your food diary.

Did we miss any condiments? Let us know in the comments!

Comments 6

  • turnipgreens&spinach

    turnipgreens&spinach 4 months ago

    Well, great, the only condiment I care to put on my hamburger is ketchup

    • Janegj

      Janegj 3 months ago

      Lol. Sorry wouldnt you know it the one u like is not keto. But if u not strict there are or is Heinz no sugar added ketchup. Use less of amount depending. Liking all the others it was eventually not hard for me. But I used love ketchup on everything meat. Do not care for hot dogs & do not like ketchup on them. Mom used put ketchup on eggs scrambled. Never liked that. Did care for eggs. But can change anything if you really want to. Not easy. May take awhile & patience, but not impossible. Good luck.

  • Vanessa

    Vanessa 6 months ago

    Is regular mayonnaise really keto? The keto type brands taste awful I have not found one that doesn't taste rancid..ive tried them all..very expensive and not palatable to me and I am not fussy, any ideas? Thanku.

    • RousingAvocado773417

      RousingAvocado773417 6 months ago

      Great article….Thank you

      • Oldtownkid

        Oldtownkid 8 months ago

        I use Primal brand ketchup. No added sugars, low carbs, and it is labeled as Keto friendly, Whole30 approved, and Paleo friendly. I use it in moderation.

        • Janegj

          Janegj 3 months ago

          Never heard of Primal brand ketchup. Where do you buy it from? Ty.