ketchup on fries

3 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Eat Ketchup

Ketchup is basically America’s favorite condiment. For many of us, burgers, hot dogs, french fries, and countless other foods just aren’t the same without it. Unfortunately, the reasons why most of us love it so much are also the reasons why we shouldn’t have it. Here are the reasons why you should never eat ketchup again.


Why You Should Never Eat Ketchup

Sweet and salty, most of us have grown up eating ketchup. Some of us might even feel a bit addicted to it. Unfortunately, after reading this, you will realize why you should never eat ketchup again. In fact, you may not even want to. Here’s why.


That’s right – just one tablespoon of ketchup has a whopping four whole grams of sugar. This is more than in a typical store-bought chocolate chip cookie. So smothering your french fries or hamburger in the red sauce is like drowning it in dessert. On top of this, how many of us actually put only one tablespoon of ketchup on something? Likely, in one ketchup-containing meal, you’re consuming at least a couple of cookies-worth of sugar. (1)


2. It’s Not Just Sugar

Sugar is sugar to the body no matter what form it is in, let’s be clear. That being said, ketchup ingredients include some of the most highly processed forms of sweet stuff. The ingredients list is as follows (2):

  • Tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes
  • Distilled vinegar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Salt
  • Spice
  • Onion powder
  • Natural flavoring

3. Ketchup Doesn’t Count As A Vegetable

Ketchup is made from tomato concentrate, meaning that those tomatoes have gone through a fair amount of processing. It is hard to determine at the end of that process how much of the nutrition is actually left in them, especially once you put in all the other ingredients.


Buy Sugar-Free Or Make Your Own

Sugar is one of the ingredients leading the charge in many of the health problems that are rampant among Americans. This includes diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. For your own health and that of your children, it is best to simply cut out as much of the sugar as you can.


Thankfully, there are plenty of better-for-you ketchup brands if you’re not the kind of person who can never eat ketchup again. Unfortunately, they are more expensive than the conventional ones. These include:


As always, be mindful that “cane sugar” and “organic sugar” are still sugar. Your body treats all sugars the same way. Also watch for artificial sweeteners, which the nutrition jury is still out on as to how good they are or aren’t for you.


Make Your Own Ketchup

If the decision to never eat ketchup again is a little too rough for you, you can make it yourself too. At the end of the day, if you want something healthy, unprocessed, and low in sugar, it’s best to just make it yourself. Thankfully, ketchup isn’t so difficult to make. Below is a simple recipe from Low-Carb Sugar-Free Ketchup Recipe from Wholesumyum.


Ingredients are (3):

  • Tomato paste
  • Water
  • Powdered sweetener (see notes about sweeteners above!)
  • White vinegar (or use apple cider vinegar for paleo)
  • Sea salt
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Ground cloves
  • Mustard powder

Mix all the ingredients together in a small saucepan and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. This allows the sauce to thicken to a more ketchup-like consistency. Monitor it because the time it takes to reach your preferred consistency can be different. 

Next, if you want a smoother texture, puree the mixture in a blender. Store in the fridge for a week, perhaps even a bit longer. Note that homemade ketchup will separate in the fridge. All you have to do is give it a little stir before using.

Try next: A Taste From Heaven: Crispy Zucchini Garlic Bites


  1. Do you know how much sugar is in your ketchup?Washington Post. Casey Seidenberg. June 2, 2015.
  2. Is Ketchup Unhealthy?Nutritous Life.
  3. KETO LOW CARB SUGAR-FREE KETCHUP RECIPE.” Wholesome Yum. Maya Krampf.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.