Let’s face it food always tastes that little bit better when we add something extra whether it’s a spicy dip, a tangy relish, a creamy sauce, or a flavorsome salad dressing.
While many of our favorite oils, dips, marinades, and sauces are high in fat they’re many that are also high in sugar, which also means they’re high in carbs.
Sometimes we just forget to look at the nutritional labels of our favorite condiments, because we simply adopt the attitude that “a little bit won’t hurt us!”
The truth is, there are many hidden carbs, and without even realizing it, adding a dollop of sugary tomato ketchup to your beef burger may just be the tipping point.
So what are the best low-carb fats and sauces for a ketogenic diet?
Condiments For Keto – Which One Is The Winner?
When it comes to condiments for keto, there’s no clear winner, as it differs from brand to brand.
One bottle of sauce that looks seemingly the same as another may have a completely different nutritional profile.
Two of the most popular condiments in the world are mustard and ketchup.
Mustard pairs beautifully with meats and is a great addition to creamy sauces and tomato sauce, well that can be added to anything and everything if you’re that way inclined.
At face value, mustard would have to be the clear winner, more specifically Dijon mustard.
However, there are some mustard varieties that are considerably higher in carbs, such as honey mustard that contains around 10 grams of carbs or more per serve, so again, if you’re looking for condiments and sauces for keto, this is evidence that you need to read the labels first.
2. Tomato Sauce
Whether you add it to your burgers, use it as a dipping sauce or use it in other recipes such as a pizza sauce, tomato sauce is by far the world’s most popular condiment.
Tomatoes are slightly higher in carbs than other vegetables, but they’re still considered to be a keto-friendly vegetable.
However, the smaller varieties, such as cherry tomatoes are much higher in sugar than their bigger relatives.
Most store-bought tomato sauces are not keto friendly, as a great deal of sugar is added to them for taste and preservation.
Read those bottle labels carefully, and look out for those hidden carbs and the many names that sugar uses as a pseudonym.
Canned tomatoes are also renowned for containing a lot of sugar; so if you choose to make your own keto tomato sauce, opt for fresh tomatoes instead.
3. Barbecue Sauce
If you don’t like tomato sauce, the chances are you’re a barbecue sauce fan instead.
Like with tomato sauce, finding a barbecue sauce for keto can be a tough challenge, as many are laden with sugars and preservatives that aren’t conducive to a ketogenic diet.
Thankfully, there are a few low-carb BBQ sauce varieties out there that don’t sacrifice the flavor, so it’s a case of scanning those shelves and looking for the low-sugar low-carb versions.
A condiment for keto not to be left off the list is mayonnaise.
Forget what you’ve been told previously about full-fat mayo in the past – it’s not a diet trap on a ketogenic diet as long as it doesn’t have any extra-added sugars.
Read the labels carefully first to check the sugar and oil type.
To remain completely keto with mayonnaise, choose brands that use olive oil as their base as opposed to vegetable oils like Sunflower oil and Canola oil.
5. Avocado Mayo
Avocado Mayo – say what?
Yes, there is a condiment for keto that marries two of the best LCHF keto foods out there – mayonnaise and avocados.
Used as dressings for sauces and dipping sauces, this popular keto condiment can be bought online or if you’re feeling up to it, you could also make your own.
If you do buy your avocado mayo online, make sure you check out the nutritional information first, as mayonnaise-based condiments often contain processed oils, such as canola oil, in their ingredients list. Processed oils aren’t good for ketosis, but it’s not only this, they tend to go rancid quicker than unprocessed oils like extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.
What’s more, these processed oils aren’t good for your overall health, as it’s been found that they cause long-term inflammation in the body.
Aioli is a delicious garlic mayonnaise originating from France.
Typically made out of olive oil, garlic, and sometimes egg, this keto-friendly sauce works well with poultry, fish and vegetables.
With absolutely zero carbs or sugars, you can consume aioli on a ketogenic diet with ease.
Full of flavor, it’s quite possible it will soon become your new favorite keto condiment.
7. Sriracha Mayonnaise
For a little bit more of a zing, use sriracha mayonnaise.
This spicy flavored mayonnaise is an excellent sauce for keto, as it’s not only delicious but it’s also low in carbs with just 1 gram of carb per serving compared to regular sriracha sauce that contains 3 grams of carbs.
8. Hot Sauce
Hot sauce lovers will be happy to know that hot sauce is a keto-friendly condiment with 0 grams of carbs and sugar, so if you feel like your food needs a little bit more of a kick, go wild!
Another flavorsome keto sauce, chimichurri, which goes nicely with steak and poultry, is predominantly made out of spices, herbs and oils.
With around 1 gram of sugar and 2 grams of carbs for every serving, chimichurri is a guilt-free condiment to add a bit more flavor to your food.
When buying your chimichurri sauce for keto, look for brands that use olive oil instead of vegetable-based oils.
Typically pesto accompanies carb-heavy foods, such as pasta and pizza, but it also goes with other Italian dishes as well.
It also makes a great keto dip.
With only 3 grams of carbs per serve, you can’t really go wrong.
This garlicky creamy dish that hails from Greece is an excellent addition to a vegetable platter for dipping.
Alternatively, enjoy it as a salad alone and enjoy a decadent taste without the guilt.
With just 2 grams of carbs per serve, it’s really a no-brainer.
An underappreciated condiment in general, horseradish packs some serious punch when it comes to flavor.
Not only is it flavorsome, but it also pairs well with a number of dishes including beef and turkey.
It can also be used for extra flavor in salad dressings and soups, such as the traditional Polish White Borscht.
Horseradish has less than 1 gram of sugar and carbs per serving, making it an ideal condiment for a ketogenic diet.
13. Sour Cream
A forbidden food within most diet circles, sour cream on a keto diet is however different.
With a distinct and delicious flavor, sour cream is versatile and can be used in a variety of keto dishes from keto cauliflower cheese to creamy broccoli soups.
Forget the high fat and embrace it, because sour cream contains less than half a gram of carbs per serve, meaning you could eat this every day if you wanted to.
14. Apple Cider Vinegar
With its remarkable flavor, apple cider vinegar makes for a delicious salad dressing that can be used without feeling bad.
With less than half a gram of carbs and sugar for every serving, it’s safe to say that apple cider vinegar on a ketogenic diet is perfectly safe.
As well as being low in carbs, apple cider vinegar also comes with extra health benefits, such as its effect on glucose response and its fat-burning properties.
Fats And Oils For Keto – The Perfect Additions
Generally speaking, most fats and oils on a ketogenic diet are good.
The ones to avoid are the oils that have been heavily processed, such as your traditional vegetable oils.
Also, because peanuts are considered to be a legume and are non-keto, peanut oil is also not keto-friendly.
15. Ghee And Butter
You’ve probably noticed by now that butter and ghee are regular features in keto blogs and recipes for keto, which is great news because everything tastes a little better with butter.
Both butter and ghee are full of fat with zero carbs and both taste just as good as the other.
However, if you suffer from any lactose or casein intolerances, ghee, which is just clarified butter, is the better option.
The beautiful thing about butter and ghee is that you can use them alone and they taste amazing.
Throw a knob into your vegetables, add it to your steak or blend it into your bulletproof coffee.
Butter and ghee are also vital ingredients for making a number of keto sauces, such as hollandaise sauce, carbonara sauce, and garlicky buttery sauces.
16. MCT Oil And Coconut Oil
MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil, which is typically made from coconut oil, is a popular keto ingredient for many recipes.
It’s been found to boost your body’s ability to produce ketones, and therefore it’s an excellent way of helping you remain in ketosis.
MCT oil is different in its appearance compared to coconut oil.
MCT oil is a liquid and coconut oil typically comes in a solidified mass.
Adding MCT oil or coconut oil to your recipes is a great way to increase your daily fat levels, but if your body isn’t accustomed to MCT oil, start out by using small amounts, as too much in the beginning can cause digestive issues.
17. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Another oil staple for a ketogenic diet is extra-virgin olive oil.
This keto diet staple can be used for dressings, cooking, and adding to your own homemade keto sauces like keto mayonnaise.
Not all olive oil is the same, and to get the best quality olive oil for keto, opt for extra-virgin olive oil from a trusted brand.
18. Avocado Oil
You probably know that avocado oil is a great fruit for a keto diet, as it’s naturally high in healthy fats.
Therefore, it makes sense that avocado oil on a keto diet is also a good choice.
Similar to extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil is extremely high in monounsaturated fats and has an excellent nutritional profile.
And while the two oils are almost identical with their health benefits, avocado oil has one advantage with hits high smoke point, meaning it can be used to sauté, fry, sear, and roast.
It even makes for a delicious salad dressing as well.
Sauces, Condiments And Oils For Keto – Final Thoughts
The choice of sauces and oils in a grocery store can be quite overwhelming, and quite often we reach for our favorite brand or go for the cheapest price without reading the labels first.
Many sauces, condiments and oils aren’t keto-friendly thanks to the added sugars, but at the same time there are other brands that are more keto compliant – it’s a matter of doing your research first!
At the end of the day, it’s fun to experiment with new dips, oils and sauces for keto.
Use a little bit of imagination and plan ahead, so you can include more of these condiments for keto in your everyday diet – who said diets had to be boring?