• 7 Healthiest BBQ Sauces in 2022 (Nutritionist-Reviewed) 1
  • 7 Healthiest BBQ Sauces in 2022 (Nutritionist-Reviewed) 2
  • 7 Healthiest BBQ Sauces in 2022 (Nutritionist-Reviewed) 3
  • 7 Healthiest BBQ Sauces in 2022 (Nutritionist-Reviewed) 4
  • 7 Healthiest BBQ Sauces in 2022 (Nutritionist-Reviewed) 5

7 Healthiest BBQ Sauces in 2022 (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 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 insight from a certified nutritionist, 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 for something sweet and subtle or something bold and spicy, there’s a healthy barbecue sauce out there for you. Read on to see our healthy choices below.

Featured in this article

Kara Swanson
mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 08-17-2022
Table of Contents

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.

7 Healthiest BBQ Sauces

Here are our picks for the 7 healthiest barbecue sauces. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.

*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Kara Swanson. Prices were gathered from respective EC sites on July 1, 2022.

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

Stubb's

2
Bone Doctors' Carolina Bold Barbeque Sauce 1

Bone Doctors'

3
Bone Suckin' Sauce Thicker Style Sauce 1

Bone Suckin' Sauce

4
Jack Daniel's Old No.7 Brand Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce 1

Jack Daniel's

5
Simple Girl Organic Carolina Kick BBQ Sauce 1

Simple Girl

6
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sensuous Slathering Sauce (2 pack) 1

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

7
Guy's Award Winning BBQ Sauce Original Sugar-Free Sauce 1

Guy's Award Winning BBQ Sauce

Name

Original Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce

Carolina Bold Barbeque Sauce

Thicker Style Sauce

Old No.7 Brand Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Organic Carolina Kick BBQ Sauce

Sensuous Slathering Sauce (2 pack)

Original Sugar-Free Sauce

Features

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

Low-Calorie and Sugar-Free Sauce

Mighty Barbecue Flavor and a Scattering of Micro-Nutrients

Sugar-Free for an Extra-Healthy Sauce

Price$3.99$5.99$8.49$4.72$10.97$14.75$9.49
Formulated withTomato puree, distilled vinegar, sugar, molasses, and moreApple cider vinegar, spices, sugar, Kosher salt, and moreTomato puree, tomato paste, water, honey, apple cider vinegar, and moreBrown sugar, ketchup, chipotle sauce, and moreCider vinegar, water, paprika & other spices, stevia, and moreCrushed tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, brown sugar, mustard, etc.Tomato puree, cider vinegar, sucralose, etc.
HighlightsNon-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 syrupNo carbs, gluten-free, vegan, no artificial sweeteners or preservativesAll natural ingredients, gluten-freeNo preservatives, sugar-free, gluten-free
Amount18 oz.12.5 oz.16 oz.19.5 oz.12 oz.19 oz.18 oz.
Link
1
Formulated withTomato puree, distilled vinegar, sugar, molasses, and more
HighlightsNon-GMO certified, gluten-free, kosher, no high fructose corn syrup
Amount18 oz.
2
Formulated withApple cider vinegar, spices, sugar, Kosher salt, and more
HighlightsGluten-free; no high fructose corn syrup; no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, Non-GMO
Amount12.5 oz.
3
Formulated withTomato puree, tomato paste, water, honey, apple cider vinegar, and more
HighlightsNo high fructose corn syrup, non-GMO, gluten-free
Amount16 oz.
4

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

$4.72

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

Simple GirlOrganic Carolina Kick BBQ Sauce

$10.97

Formulated withCider vinegar, water, paprika & other spices, stevia, and more
HighlightsNo carbs, gluten-free, vegan, no artificial sweeteners or preservatives
Amount12 oz.
6

Dinosaur Bar-B-QueSensuous Slathering Sauce (2 pack)

$14.75

Formulated withCrushed tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, brown sugar, mustard, etc.
HighlightsAll natural ingredients, gluten-free
Amount19 oz.
7

Guy's Award Winning BBQ SauceOriginal Sugar-Free Sauce

$9.49

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

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.

Buying Guide Reviewed by Nutritionist Kara Swanson

Kara Swanson
Nutritionist
Kara Swanson

This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary, as well as extra tips and advice. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.

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