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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*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.
Bone Suckin' Sauce
Guy's Award Winning BBQ Sauce
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
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
|Formulated with||Tomato puree, distilled vinegar, sugar, molasses, and more||Apple cider vinegar, spices, sugar, Kosher salt, and more||Tomato puree, tomato paste, water, honey, apple cider vinegar, and more||Brown sugar, ketchup, chipotle sauce, and more||Cider vinegar, water, paprika & other spices, stevia, and more||Crushed tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, brown sugar, mustard, etc.||Tomato puree, cider vinegar, sucralose, etc.|
|Highlights||Non-GMO certified, gluten-free, kosher, no high fructose corn syrup||Gluten-free; no high fructose corn syrup; no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, Non-GMO||No high fructose corn syrup, non-GMO, gluten-free||No high fructose corn syrup||No carbs, gluten-free, vegan, no artificial sweeteners or preservatives||All natural ingredients, gluten-free||No preservatives, sugar-free, gluten-free|
|Amount||18 oz.||12.5 oz.||16 oz.||19.5 oz.||12 oz.||19 oz.||18 oz.|
|Formulated with||Tomato puree, distilled vinegar, sugar, molasses, and more|
|Highlights||Non-GMO certified, gluten-free, kosher, no high fructose corn syrup|
|Formulated with||Apple cider vinegar, spices, sugar, Kosher salt, and more|
|Highlights||Gluten-free; no high fructose corn syrup; no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, Non-GMO|
|Formulated with||Tomato puree, tomato paste, water, honey, apple cider vinegar, and more|
|Highlights||No high fructose corn syrup, non-GMO, gluten-free|
|Formulated with||Brown sugar, ketchup, chipotle sauce, and more|
|Highlights||No high fructose corn syrup|
|Formulated with||Cider vinegar, water, paprika & other spices, stevia, and more|
|Highlights||No carbs, gluten-free, vegan, no artificial sweeteners or preservatives|
|Formulated with||Crushed tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, brown sugar, mustard, etc.|
|Highlights||All natural ingredients, gluten-free|
|Formulated with||Tomato puree, cider vinegar, sucralose, etc.|
|Highlights||No preservatives, sugar-free, gluten-free|
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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