Diet Details, Advantages, Disadvantages, Options


Ketchup is a sweet and salty seasoning.

It is made with mashed tomatoes and seasonings, including garlic, onion and pepper.

Ketchup goes well with your convenient foods, such as burgers, hot dogs, and chips.

It is often associated with fast food, but it is made with a very nutritious food: tomatoes. You’re not alone in asking if ketchup is healthy.

This article delves into ketchup nutrition, including health benefits, potential disadvantages, and suggestions for other seasonings that you can use instead.

Ketchup recipes vary, but it’s made with a main ingredient, including tomatoes, sugar, salt, and vinegar. This explains the sweet but sour taste that comes with it.

You can also add spices, pepper, coriander and even spices like cinnamon or ginger.

As a tomato-based seasoning, ketchup has a simple nutritional profile. Also, since you often use a small amount of ketchup with your meal, you will not get the essential nutrients from ketchup.

Contains 1 tablespoon (17 grams) of ketchup (1):

  • Calories: 17
  • Carbohydrates: 4.5 grams
  • Protein: less than 1 gram
  • Fiber: less than 1 gram
  • Potolo: less than 1 gram
  • Sugar: 7% of Daily Value (DV)
  • Sodium: 7% of DV

Compared to other seasonings, a tablespoon of ketchup has almost twice as many calories as mustard, but less than a quarter of the number of calories in mayonnaise (2, 3).

In terms of sugar, ketchup usually contains more than mayonnaise or mustard, compared to 7% of the same amount of ketchup, which contains less than 1% of the DV of sugar (17 grams) each.1, 2, 3).


Ketchup is low in calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat. However, the seasoning contains moderate amounts of sugar and salt, which are two of the main ingredients.

Some people consider ketchup to be “pure calorie” because it contains salt and sugar, but lacks a lot of vitamins or minerals.

At the same time, the main ingredients in ketchup are tomatoes, which are packed with healthy plant compounds.

Research suggests that the most likely health benefit of ketchup comes from the carotenoid lycopene in tomatoes.

Lycopene itself is thought to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties, but there is little research to suggest that eating ketchup will have the same effects (1, 4).

However, a recent study linked eating a variety of lycopene-rich tomato foods, including ketchup, to a lower risk of developing gastric cancer (5).

In fact, ketchup remains one of the most concentrated sources of lycopene. When preparing ketchup, the heat used to process tomatoes makes it easier for your body to absorb lycopene (6).

When you eat ketchup, you can get some health benefits from lycopene. Lycopene (7):

  • Act as an antioxidant. The powerful antioxidant activity of lycopene can protect your DNA and cellular proteins from inflammation (4).
  • Protect against cancer. Prostate tube research shows that lycopene can prevent prostate cancer. Human studies link higher consumption of tomato and ketchup lycopene to lower risk of stomach cancer (5, 6, 8).
  • Help your brain. Research suggests that lycopene may help treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Early animal research suggests that chronic disease may protect against brain damage (9, 10, 11, 12).
  • Promote heart health. Antioxidants in lycopene can help fight heart disease. Human studies link a diet with lycopene to a lower risk of heart disease. Animal studies show that lycopene lowers blood fat and cholesterol levels (13, 14, 15).
  • Coping with reproductive disorders. While a human study found lower levels of lycopene in infertile men, an animal study found that oral oral lycopene was effective in treating testicular hypofunction, a condition that sometimes causes infertility (16, 17).

However, since ketchup is usually eaten in small amounts, very fresh or canned tomatoes can provide more lycopene and fewer calories, less sugar and more nutrients.

Finally, health issues like fertility and heart health can be better addressed by focusing on the overall quality of your diet. Ketchup and its lycopene content will not make a healthy diet nutritious (7, 18).


Although ketchup does not contain many vitamins or minerals, the plant is rich in powerful chemical lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that helps fight cancer, protect the heart and brain, and help with fertility.

For most people, ketchup is completely safe when consumed in moderation. The condiment can be easily incorporated into your balanced diet.

However, eating too much ketchup can have mild side effects.

The downsides of ketchup are:

  • It has a lot of sugar. One tablespoon of ketchup can contain 7% or more of your DV sugar. If you love ketchup and have 4-5 tablespoons in a single meal, you can consume 35% or more of the DV of ketchup sugar (1).
  • It has a pretty high salt content. Most packaged ketchup products also contain a lot of salt. If you are sensitive to salt, eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and other health problems (1, 19, 20, 21).
  • It is an acidic food. Tomatoes prove to be a very acidic food, so concentrated tomato products like ketchup are no different. If you suffer from heartburn or reflux, eating too much ketchup can make these conditions worse (22, 23, 24).
  • Some people may be allergic. Although rare, you may have an allergy or sensitivity to ketchup. Ketchup can be caused by allergies to tomatoes or other flavoring ingredients such as vinegar containing sulfites, salicylates, and gluten (e.g.24, 25).


Eating a lot of ketchup, such as a few tablespoons at a time, is not very risky. However, if you are concerned about your sugar or salt intake, or if you have an acid reflux, heartburn, or food allergies, you may want to limit your intake.

Even if ketchup is used to the extent that it can be part of a balanced diet, you may want to use a healthier alternative.

There are many brands and varieties of ketchup available, so if you are looking for a variety that meets your specific needs, this is a good opportunity to find a product that works for you.

For example, there are many ketchup brands that make versions of the seasoning:

If you’re looking for a variety like this, most labels make these distinctions clear.

Maybe you love the tomato flavor of ketchup, but want to find a less processed version. In that case, you can try to do it at home.

Making homemade ketchup can also be a great way to moderate the amount of sugar and salt in your seasonings.

If you are looking for less sugary options, you can also add other seasonings:

  • salsa
  • tomato chutney or jam
  • hot sauce
  • harissa


Healthier versions of ketchup are low in sugar and low in salt, organic and / or high in fructose corn syrup. You can try making your own ketchup at home or replacing it with another seasoning like salsa.

Ketchup is a classic seasoning that you can love with sandwiches, burgers, fries and more.

If you like ketchup, you may be glad to hear that it is made with tomato and is a good source of lycopene.

Adding more lycopene to your diet will help protect you from cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions.

However, some varieties of ketchup show a lot of sugar and salt. In addition, some ingredients in ketchup can aggravate your stomach if you have acid reflux, gluten-related disorders, or tomato allergies.

To get the most health out of ketchup, try limiting it to a few tablespoons at a time. Combine ketchup with other nutritious foods and choose ketchup varieties with less sugar and salt.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.