Whether it’s on french fries, burgers, or for some people, eggs, ketchup compliments each dish with its tomato-rich flavor. This condiment is a staple food item in many pantries with nearly 97-percent of Americans having ketchup on hand in their kitchen. However, if you are following a low FODMAP lifestyle, you may be wondering if ketchup is safe to eat. Let’s take a better look at ketchup and if you can add it safely to your low FODMAP regimen.
Ketchup is a tomato-based sauce that is typically made from pureed tomatoes, vinegar, salt, pepper, and spices. It’s a low calorie condiment that averages around 15 calories per tablespoon. It also contains no fat and a small amount of vitamins A and C from the tomatoes. However, if you are trying to follow a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to read the label of your ketchup bottle. This is because some ketchup products may have added sugar and excess amounts of salt that can put ketchup in unhealthy territory. The major culprit in ketchup products is high fructose corn syrup, which is pretty much pure sugar.
Ketchup and FODMAPs
Not only is high fructose corn syrup a sugar concern in ketchup products. This ingredient is also an issue when it comes to FODMAP friendliness. This is because high fructose corn syrup is a high FODMAP ingredients. Other high FODMAP ingredients that could be found in ketchup products include onion powder, “spices” which may contain garlic or onion powder, and corn syrup. According to the Monash University app, one packet, or 13 grams of ketchup with onion or garlic, sweetened with sucrose, or table sugar or high fructose corn syrup is considered low FODMAP. Any more than this serving contains higher levels of fructans that could trigger digestive symptoms in some.
Although less common, some ketchup products may contain honey to sweeten it. Ketchup sweetened with honey, a high FODMAP ingredient, has not been tested by Monash so this type of ketchup product would be off limits.
How to enjoy ketchup the low FODMAP way
To enjoy ketchup while staying low FODMAP safe, use these tips.
- Use as a dip with low FODMAP baked potato fries.
- Add to sauces to flavor recipes like this low FODMAP chicken meatballs recipe.
- Keep it traditional and pour on your burger like this low FODMAP Carrot Savory Granola Burger or this Vegetarian low FODMAP burger, which come from recipes on the Casa de Sante website.
- Enhance the flavor of your sloppy joe sauce recipe with some ketchup.
You can also mix some ketchup with brown sugar or other sauces to create your own low FODMAP condiments. An example of a condiment that ketchup can help create includes thousand island dressing which consists of ketchup, mayonnaise, and chopped pickles. Also, make your own cocktail sauce for seafood with ketchup, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.
Take home message
Ketchup is a delicious condiment that tastes great with many different dishes and snacks. It’s low-calorie profile makes it a healthy alternative to sugary sauces and mayonnaise-based dressings. Ketchup sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup can also be enjoyed on a low FODMAP lifestyle even though it contains onion or garlic if you are careful. Keep your serving size to the Monash-certified serving. For more information on other sauces that can be part of a low FODMAP lifestyle, check out the Casa de Sante website.
-written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD of LighttrackNutrition.com