• Top 10 Best Healthy BBQ Sauces in 2021 (Nutritionist-Reviewed) 1
  • Top 10 Best Healthy BBQ Sauces in 2021 (Nutritionist-Reviewed) 2
  • Top 10 Best Healthy BBQ Sauces in 2021 (Nutritionist-Reviewed) 3
  • Top 10 Best Healthy BBQ Sauces in 2021 (Nutritionist-Reviewed) 4
  • Top 10 Best Healthy BBQ Sauces in 2021 (Nutritionist-Reviewed) 5

Top 10 Best Healthy BBQ Sauces in 2021 (Nutritionist-Reviewed)

Barbecue sauce has a history that stretches as far back as the 1800s and is a common ingredient in many American foods today. From Sweet Chuck’s All Natural Barbecue Sauce to Annie’s Original Original BBQ Sauce, choosing the right sauce that’s healthy and that also complements your food can be a tough choice.

In this article, and with the advice of nutritionist Kara Swanson, we’ll show you how to choose the right healthy barbecue sauce, tell you which ingredients to avoid, and recommend some delicious, healthy barbecue sauces. Whether you’re looking something sweet and subtle or something bold and spicy, there’s a healthy barbecue sauce out there for you; for us, it's Annie's Original BBQ Sauce!

Experts featured in this article

Kara Swanson
Sara Tercero
  • Last updated: 08-10-2021
  • 25,226 views
Table of Contents

Top 10 Healthy BBQ Sauces

There are countless flavors of barbecue sauces out there, from sweet and fruity to smoky and spicy. This recommendation section of the top 10 healthy barbecue sauces is going to make your choice much easier!

※Please note that these products were not picked by Kara Swanson, but chosen through extensive research and by combing through customer reviews by our staff at mybest.

1

Annie'sOrganic BBQ Original Recipe Sauce

2 pack

$8.21

Formulated withOrganic apple cider vinegar, organic tomato paste, organic molasses, etc.
HighlightsVegan, gluten-free, USDA-certified organic, non-GMO certified
Amount12 oz.
2

Stubb'sOriginal Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce

3 pack

$29.99

Formulated withTomato puree, distilled vinegar, sugar, molasses, etc.
HighlightsNon-GMO certified, gluten-free, kosher, no high fructose corn syrup
Amount18 oz.
3
Formulated withApple cider vinegar, spices, sugar, Kosher salt, etc.
HighlightsGluten-free; no high fructose corn syrup; no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, Non-GMO
Amount12.5 oz.
4
Formulated withTomato puree, tomato paste, water, honey, apple cider vinegar, etc.
HighlightsNo high fructose corn syrup, non-GMO, gluten-free
Amount16 oz.
5

Jack Daniel'sOld No.7 Brand Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

$14.95

Formulated withBrown sugar, ketchup, chipotle sauce, etc.
HighlightsNo high fructose corn syrup
Amount19.5 oz.
6

Tessemae’sMatty’s Organic BBQ Sauce

2 pack

$16.96

Formulated withOrganic balsamic vinegar, organic date puree, tomato paste, etc.
HighlightsVegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo friendly, no refined sugar
Amount10 oz.
7

Simple GirlOrganic Carolina Kick BBQ Sauce

$10.97

Formulated withCider vinegar, water, paprika & other spices, stevia, etc.
HighlightsNo carbs, gluten-free, vegan, no artificial sweeteners or preservatives
Amount12 oz.
8

Dinosaur Bar-B-QueSensuous Slathering Sauce

2 pack

$18.75

Formulated withCrushed tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, brown sugar, mustard, etc.
HighlightsAll natural ingredients, gluten-free
Amount19 oz.
9

Guy's Award Winning BBQ SauceOriginal Sugar-Free Sauce

$12.97

Formulated withTomato puree, cider vinegar, sucralose, etc.
HighlightsNo preservatives, sugar-free, gluten-free
Amount18 oz.
10

Sweet Chuck'sAll Natural BBQ Sauce

$9.49

Formulated withNatural tomato concentrate, organic tapioca syrup, honey, vinegar, etc.
HighlightsGluten-free, no artificial sweeteners, no MSG
Amount12 oz

Compare the Best Healthy BBQ Sauces

Image
1
Annie's Organic BBQ Original Recipe Sauce 1

Annie's

2
Stubb's Original Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce 1

Stubb's

3
Bone Doctors' Carolina Bold Barbeque Sauce 1

Bone Doctors'

4
Bone Suckin' Sauce Thicker Style Sauce 1

Bone Suckin' Sauce

5
Jack Daniel's Old No.7 Brand Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce 1

Jack Daniel's

6
Tessemae’s Matty’s Organic BBQ Sauce 1

Tessemae’s

7
Simple Girl Organic Carolina Kick BBQ Sauce 1

Simple Girl

8
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sensuous Slathering Sauce 1

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

9
Guy's Award Winning BBQ Sauce Original Sugar-Free Sauce 1

Guy's Award Winning BBQ Sauce

10
Sweet Chuck's All Natural BBQ Sauce 1

Sweet Chuck's

Name

Organic BBQ Original Recipe Sauce

Original Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce

Carolina Bold Barbeque Sauce

Thicker Style Sauce

Old No.7 Brand Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Matty’s Organic BBQ Sauce

Organic Carolina Kick BBQ Sauce

Sensuous Slathering Sauce

Original Sugar-Free Sauce

All Natural BBQ Sauce

Features

A Tangy, All-Natural, Inexpensive Barbecue Sauce

A Smokey, Low-Cost, Low-Sugar Sauce

A Barbecue Sauce With the Zest of Apple Cider Vinegar

A Thick, Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce

A Spicy Barbecue Sauce With Vitamins and Minerals

All-Natural and Organic Barbecue Sauce

Low Calorie and Sugar-Free Sauce

Mighty Barbecue Flavor and a Scattering of Micro-Nutrients

Sugar-Free for an Extra-Healthy Sauce

A Barbecue Sauce Full of Ingredients You Know

Price$8.21$29.99$5.99$6.79$14.95$16.96$10.97$18.75$12.97$9.49
Formulated withOrganic apple cider vinegar, organic tomato paste, organic molasses, etc.Tomato puree, distilled vinegar, sugar, molasses, etc.Apple cider vinegar, spices, sugar, Kosher salt, etc.Tomato puree, tomato paste, water, honey, apple cider vinegar, etc.Brown sugar, ketchup, chipotle sauce, etc.Organic balsamic vinegar, organic date puree, tomato paste, etc.Cider vinegar, water, paprika & other spices, stevia, etc.Crushed tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, brown sugar, mustard, etc.Tomato puree, cider vinegar, sucralose, etc.Natural tomato concentrate, organic tapioca syrup, honey, vinegar, etc.
HighlightsVegan, gluten-free, USDA-certified organic, non-GMO certifiedNon-GMO certified, gluten-free, kosher, no high fructose corn syrupGluten-free; no high fructose corn syrup; no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, Non-GMONo high fructose corn syrup, non-GMO, gluten-freeNo high fructose corn syrupVegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo friendly, no refined sugarNo carbs, gluten-free, vegan, no artificial sweeteners or preservativesAll natural ingredients, gluten-freeNo preservatives, sugar-free, gluten-freeGluten-free, no artificial sweeteners, no MSG
Amount12 oz.18 oz.12.5 oz.16 oz.19.5 oz.10 oz.12 oz.19 oz.18 oz.12 oz
Link

In Collaboration With Nutritionist Kara Swanson

In Collaboration With Nutritionist Kara Swanson

Kara Swanson is a certified nutritionist and the founder of Life Well Lived. She is married to her best friend and the proud mother of three. Her passion is to make nutrition simple, easy, and delicious! You can find her amazing nutrition plans and learn tips and tricks to staying healthy on her website, Instagram, or Facebook.

How to Choose a Healthy BBQ Sauce - Buying Guide

It can be difficult to decipher what sauces are healthy and which are not. A healthy barbecue sauce is going to have low sugar and low sodium, ingredients you will recognize, and still provide substantial flavor. Let’s break down what exactly you should be looking for in a healthy barbecue sauce.

Check Labels; Go for Low Sugar and Low Sodium

Check Labels; Go for Low Sugar and Low Sodium

A barbecue sauce with a lot of sugar and salt is a telltale sign that it isn’t healthy. If it’s sugar intake you’re worried about, look for sauces with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Eating too much sugar on a regular basis can lead to health complications, including heart disease and diabetes. Remember, the ideal daily sugar intake is between 25 and 38 grams!

Sodium is another nutrient that you should watch when shopping around for the right barbecue sauce. Some sauces have 300 to 400 milligrams of sodium per serving. However, an ideal diet allows between 1,500 and 2,000 grams a day; if you’re worried about your blood pressure, try to go for a sauce with no more than 250 mg per 2 tbsp serving.
Check Labels; Go for Low Sugar and Low Sodium
While there are plenty of barbecue sauces that have high amounts of sugar and sodium, there are some that provide good nutritional value to your diet. Some barbecue sauces have Vitamin A and calcium, both vital to your overall health.
Kara Swanson
Nutritionist
Kara Swanson

It's important to always read labels before buying food, especially when it comes to sauces. Sugar, sodium, and chemicals can easily be added to BBQ sauces without you even realizing it. 


Make it a habit to read labels and be aware of what your food is actually made of. With healthier versions of BBQ sauces that are low in sugar and sodium, you can easily swap out your unhealthy BBQ sauce for a healthy one.

Look for Ingredients You Recognize

Look for Ingredients You Recognize
If your barbecue sauce starts listing ingredients that you can’t even pronounce, chances are it’s not as healthy as it could be. When barbecue sauce was first created, there weren’t ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup and xylitol sweetener, so it’s definitely possible to create a delicious barbecue sauce without artificial ingredients.
Look for ingredients like tomato sauce, ketchup, onion powder, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, ground mustard, and lemon juice–all-natural ingredients that you can find in your kitchen.
Look for Ingredients You Recognize
While there are ingredients you should look for in a healthy barbecue sauce, there are also ingredients you should avoid. If you check the ingredients in many barbecue sauces, you’ll notice high-fructose corn syrup near the top of most lists. 

High-fructose corn syrup means a lot of added sugars; the higher it is on the ingredient list, the more of it there is. Molasses, while a natural ingredient, is also full of unhealthy sugars and is a popular ingredient in barbecue sauces.

Kara Swanson
Nutritionist
Kara Swanson

The fewer the ingredients the better. And preferably ingredients you actually know and can pronounce! Make sure to look them up online and take charge of what ingredients are being put in your body, so that the next time you come across the ingredient you know whether to stay away from it or whether it's okay to consume.

Make Sure the Flavor Complements Your Food

Make Sure the Flavor Complements Your Food
When you’re trying to purchase the perfect healthy barbecue sauce, think about the kinds of foods you eat on a regular basis. If you eat a lot of meat, a smoky, spicier barbecue sauce might work best. If you’re more interested in vegetables, a sweeter, even fruity sauce would work perfectly with your meal.
Be careful to avoid unnatural sweeteners like corn syrup. If you want a sweet barbecue sauce, check to make sure all-natural sugar is used instead. 

The kind of sugar that’s used can also impact the flavor, with artificial sweeteners often being very intense if there is too much in a sauce. A natural sugar will give it a nice flavor balance while also being a healthier option.

Kara Swanson
Nutritionist
Kara Swanson

BBQ sauce is a great way to spice up a boring dish so don't be afraid to explore and try new flavors. It's always a great way to flavor vegetables so they are even more enjoyable for your family.

More Tips from Kara Swanson

More Tips from Kara Swanson

Now that you've gotten the basic information about how to choose a barbeque sauce down, expert Kara Swanson has a few more tips to add into the mix about sauce formulas and making healthy swaps.

Kara Swanson
Nutritionist
Kara Swanson

Chemicals seem to be added into everything these days but don't be fooled - they do nothing good for our health. When you start choosing foods without chemicals - as they should be, they will naturally have a shorter shelf life. Just make sure you read the expiration date and plan meals accordingly so you can use up all of the BBQ sauce to avoid waste.


Also be aware that healthier BBQ sauces might taste a little bit different without all the added sugars, sodium, and chemicals. Be patient though, because your taste buds will adapt and change as you continue making healthier swaps. It takes some time for our bodies and taste buds to get used to less sugar and sodium, but the healthier swap is worth it for your health.

Flavor Your Food With a Spice Recommended by a Chef

Barbeque sauce isn't the only way to spice up your meats and veggies. You can try spice blends and even mix your own to create perfect flavor combinations suited to your palate! Check out this smoked paprika recommended by chef Sara Tercero. You can use it to add a spicy kick to your meals.

Expert's
pick

McCormick GourmetSmoked Paprika

1.62 oz.

$5.98

Looking For Some Other Healthy Condiments?

Looking For Some Other Healthy Condiments?
Who says you have to make a trade-off between health and flavor? Give us a few minutes of your time, and we’ll prove that you can have the pleasure without the guilt.

Summary

Your barbecue sauce is going to be the foundation of your meal’s flavor. Whether it’s meat and seafood or grilled vegetables, finding the right barbecue sauce is important. What’s just as important as the flavor is how healthy it is.
Remember, look for sauces that are low in sugar and sodium, make sure the ingredients are all-natural and try to pair the sauce with what you typically eat for a better flavor combination. With these tips, you’ll be cooking delicious and healthy barbecue meals in no time!

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