Name a more beloved condiment than ketchup. We’ll wait. Without it, a burger and fries just doesn’t hit the same. And don’t get us started on hashbrowns.
Because the main ingredient in ketchup is tomatoes, many people assume it’s healthy. But is it?
Let’s explore sneaky ingredients in your ketchup bottle. Plus, we let you in on the worst ketchup brands to avoid, and the best to stock up on.
Is Ketchup Healthy?
All things considered, ketchup can make be healthy when enjoyed in moderation. There are many pros and cons to consider. First, ketchup is a great source of the antioxidant lycopene (1). One study found that due to its lycopene content, ketchup can have anti-inflammatory properties (2).
It also has small amounts of vitamins A and C, which are key players in your immune health. It’s relatively low in calories, containing just 15-20 calories in a one-tablespoon serving, and zero grams of fat.
SHOP HEALTHY KETCHUP
How Much Sugar Is There In Ketchup?
But before you slather it on your next bratwurst, let’s talk about sugars in ketchup. Many ketchups are high in the sweet stuff—some have four grams of sugar in just one tablespoon. The American Heart Association recommends men consume no more than 36 grams of added sugar a day, so a small squeeze is a big contribution. Odds are you eat more than one tablespoon in one sitting, too.
Many popular ketchup brands use high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener. Eating too much high fructose corn syrup has been linked to insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic diseases (3).
Best and Worst Ketchup Brands
When selecting ketchup, choose a brand lowest in added sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup). Below, we rank the best and worst ketchup brands.
The Worst Ketchup Brands
We rank these ketchup brands the worst because they’re loaded with high fructose corn syrup and added sugar. Most are packed with natural flavors, preservatives, and sodium, too.
Ketchup Brands That Contain High Fructose Corn Syrup
These popular ketchup brands include high fructose corn syrup in their recipe. Unfortunately, Heinz is on the list (say it ain’t so). Avoid these brands at your next meal.
- Heinz – 4 grams sugar
- Market Pantry – 4 grams sugar
- Hunts – 3 grams sugar
- Del Monte – 3 grams sugar
Ketchup Brands That Contain Cane Sugar
We like that these brands use organic sugar or cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, but they’re still high in added sugar. If indulging in these brands, pay attention to portion sizes to avoid going over your daily sugar limit.
- Annie’s – 4 grams sugar
- Whole Foods 365 – 4 grams sugar
- Heinz Simply – 4 grams sugar
- Woodstock – 3 grams sugar
- Sir Kensington’s – 3 grams sugar
- Simply Balanced – 3 grams sugar
- Hunt’s 100% Natural – 3 grams sugar
- Thrive Organic – 3 grams sugar
- Trader Joe’s – 2 grams sugar
The Best Ketchup Brands
All these brands are USDA Organic and non-GMO. They also contain nutritious whole food ingredients like tomatoes, fruits and vegetables, and spices and seasonings. With no added sugar, and low sodium you can enjoy these ketchups guilt-free.
Healthiest Ketchup Brands With No Added Sugar
We love that these brands use natural sweeteners instead of sugar or high fructose corn syrup. If you love to pile on the ketchup, squirt away. These brands leave you satisfied with dinner and space in your daily sugar count for dessert.