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, 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; here are our top picks for the best healthy barbecue sauces that you can buy online today.
How to Choose a Healthy BBQ Sauce
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
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 300-400 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.
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.
The Ingredients List: Look for Ingredients You Recognize Like Tomato Sauce, Pepper, and Onion Powder
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.
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.
Flavors: Make Sure it 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.
Top 10 Healthy BBQ Sauces to Buy Online
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!
10. Sweet Chuck’s All Natural
A Barbecue Sauce Full of Ingredients You Know
We had to include Sweet Chuck’s All Natural BBQ Sauce because it’s gluten-free and doesn’t use any artificial sugars. While the sugar is a little high at 13 grams per serving, it’s the ingredient list that makes this sauce stand out. You’ll get a nice smoky flavor that’s balanced out by a bit of spice.
This sauce is made of organic tomato paste, tapioca syrup, honey, vinegar, water, sugar, dried garlic, natural flavor, and spices. No artificial ingredients and no unsafe preservatives. You won’t get any added nutritional value like you will with other healthy sauces, but it’s a relatively inexpensive barbecue sauce that uses only natural ingredients.
9. Guy’s Award Winning Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce
Sugar-Free For An Extra-Healthy Sauce
The proof is all in the name; it’s tough to create a delicious barbecue sauce that’s completely sugar-free, but that’s exactly what Guy’s did with their Sugar-Free sauce. If you take a look at the ingredient list, you’ll see ingredients like water, tomato paste, vinegar, salt, and lemon juice all near the top of the list, which is a sign that this sauce is healthy.
Not only are you cutting out the sugar, you’re getting a small source of Vitamin C; each serving has 2% of your recommended daily value. This sauce is great for someone looking for a smoky flavor that works well with chicken or steak. While it’s definitely pricier than some of our other options, it’s a delicious and healthy sauce that everyone will enjoy.
8. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sensuous Slathering Sauce (2 Bottles)
Mighty Barbecue Flavor and a Scattering of Micro-Nutrients
Clocking in at 5 grams of sugar per serving, this low-sugar barbecue sauce packs a lot of punch. It has a unique smoky flavor that’s also slightly sweet, making it a great option for both meats and vegetables.
This all-natural sauce includes delicious ingredients like crushed tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, mustard, onion, garlic, and green bell pepper. You’ll also get 3% of your Vitamin A, 3% of your Vitamin C, 1% of your calcium, and 1% of your iron intake per serving. Pair that with only 177 grams of sodium and you’ve got a versatile, healthy sauce that goes with a lot of different foods.
7. Simple Girl Carolina Kick
Low Calorie and Sugar-Free
The Simple Girl brand is known for creating flavorful sauces that are low on calories and sugars. The Carolina Kick barbecue sauce is completely sugar-free, which makes it a very healthy choice. If you’re looking for some heat, this is the sauce for you; it’s got a nice kick that goes well with meat dishes such as chicken or steak.
There’s also some great nutritional value that’s added to this sauce, with a whopping 7% of your daily Vitamin A in just one serving. For a healthy barbecue sauce that’s packed with flavor, it’s also very affordable.
6. Tessemae’s Matty’s Organic BBQ Sauce (2 Bottles)
All-Natural and Organic Barbecue Sauce
With only 2 grams of sugar per serving, Tessemae’s Matty’s Organic BBQ Sauce is one of the lowest-sugar options on the list and uses only real ingredients like balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, date puree, onion powder, spices, and garlic powder, to name a few. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
It has a well-rounded flavor palate and works well with a lot of foods. If you’re looking for something that can be either sweet or tangy, this versatile barbecue sauce is a great choice for you.
5. Jack Daniel’s Spicy Sauce
A Spicy Barbecue Sauce With Vitamins and Minerals
As one of the world’s most popular whiskey manufacturers, Jack Daniels also makes an insanely delicious barbecue sauce that’s packed with vitamins and minerals. With just 9 grams of sugar, it’s a healthy choice that’s full of heat, making it a great choice for a backyard barbecue.
This barbecue sauce’s top ingredients include white wine vinegar, tomato paste, water, salt, and natural smoke flavor. You’ll also get 4% of your daily Vitamin A intake, 2% of your Vitamin C intake, 2% of your calcium intake, and 2% of your iron intake.
4. Bone Suckin’ Sauce Original Thick
A Thick, Low-Sugar Barbecue Sauce
Too many barbeque sauces simply fall right off your food. The Bone Suckin’ Sauce Original Thick recipe stays right on your food so you can experience its full, rich flavor. This low-sugar barbecue sauce only has 8 grams of sugar per serving, making it a great option if you’re wanting a sweeter sauce that’s not so packed with sugars.
This barbecue sauce also has an incredibly low amount of sodium at 100 milligrams per serving. As for the flavor, the thick sauce is on the sweet side, making it perfect for a slow-roasting barbecue in your backyard with friends and family.
3. Bone Doctors’ Carolina Bold Barbeque Sauce
A Barbecue Sauce with the Zest of Apple Cider Vinegar
Rounding out the top three in our list is Bone Doctors’ Carolina Bold Barbeque Sauce. This incredible sauce features zero high-fructose corn syrup, which is one of the top ingredients to avoid in a barbecue sauce. It also features just 1 gram of sugar per serving.
As the name implies, this sauce is bold and spicy. Using a zesty apple cider vinegar as its base, this sauce can really enhance a lot of barbecue dishes. It also has 4% of your daily Vitamin A requirements per serving and 2% of your iron. It made number three on our list simply for the price; it’s more expensive than our number one and two sauce, but is just as healthy and delicious.
2. Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce
A Smokey, Low-Cost, Low-Sugar Sauce
If you’re looking for a healthy barbecue sauce that won’t break the bank, Stubb’s is just what you need. With only 4 grams of sugar per serving, this smokey barbecue sauce is perfect for both meats and vegetables. The sugar that is in the sauce is natural cane sugar, which is much healthier than artificial sugars.
On top of the rich flavor, you’re getting 4% Vitamin A, 4% Vitamin C, and 2% Calcium, making this already healthy sauce even healthier. It’s tough to find a healthy sauce that’s delicious, natural, and inexpensive, but that’s just what you get with Stubb’s Original. This legendary barbecue sauce is a great choice for going healthy on a budget.
1. Annie’s Original BBQ Sauce
A Tangy, All-Natural, Inexpensive Barbecue Sauce
Our top choice had to be Annie’s Original BBQ Sauce. Known for all-natural, organic foods, Annie’s makes an incredible organic barbecue sauce. The simple ingredients start with water, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, cane sugar, and ground mustard. The sauce only has 4 grams of all-natural cane sugar per serving.
This is a tangier barbecue sauce that would go well with meats and seafood. You’ll also get some added Vitamin C, with 4% of your daily requirements, and 2% of your Iron. This is an excellent all-around barbecue that can adapt to many different cooking styles.
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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