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Did you know that a single tablespoon of soy sauce can have up to 2 grams of carbohydrates? While this might not seem like a lot, creating a marinade or sauce with it has the potential to kick you out of ketosis. When you are following a ketogenic diet, you need to be careful about consuming extra carbohydrates– even in something as small as sauce or marinade.

Going keto doesn’t have to mean giving up flavor! Read on to learn more about which flavors to avoid, and how to incorporate more flavor into your food with a fraction of the carbs.

Read the labels on thick sauces

One of the biggest sources of hidden carbohydrates are thick sauces often used as toppings and in marinades. For example, a single two-tablespoon of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce has a whopping 18 grams of carbohydrates. Duck sauce is another offender, with 20 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Even ketchup, which most people don’t even think twice about adding to their food, has an average of 4.5 grams of carbs in a single tablespoon.

When you’re looking for thick sauces, make sure you’re checking the carb count. Looking for a quick source of rich flavor? Try mixing 2 ounces of ranch dressing (preferably Hidden Valley Ranch’s full-fat ranch) with a few drops of your favorite hot sauce to add a cool and spicy kick to burgers, chicken, salads, or anything in between for just 2 grams of carbohydrates!

Seasonings are your friends

There’s no better way to flavor your food while on keto than using ground spices and seasonings. Most seasonings that you see on shelves have a negligible amount of carbs, save for 1 gram of carbohydrates in garlic powder. Spices like turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and ginger have even been rumored to have weight-loss properties, though these claims are largely anecdotal.

Using spices is a great way to add unique flavors without adding carbohydrates to your meal. A great way to make a marinade with spices is to infuse a blend of spices with olive oil and using it with a basting brush before grilling, baking, or broiling. If you don’t have the time or creativity to create your own spice blend, I recommend picking up a bottle of Cajun seasoning like McCormick’s Perfect Pinch Cajun Seasoning. With 0 grams of carbohydrates and a kick of Louisiana flavor, McCormick’s seasoning is a keto dieter’s dream.

Whole herbs adds whole flavor

Want to add massive, rich flavor to your food during preparation? Try rubbing meats with whole herbs! Herbs like rosemary, cilantro, sage, and thyme add very deep and rich flavors to meats. Many chefs even recommend mixing rosemary into the oil when basting a steak because it multiplies the flavor and adds dimension to the meat.

Rubbing your meats with herbs adds no carbohydrates to your food, so don’t be afraid to get creative when cooking or grilling. You can even try growing your own on the window sill of your kitchen if you’ve got a green thumb!


The content on this website should not be taken as medical advice and you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. We provide nutritional data for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. We use Total Keto Diet app software to calculate the nutrition and we remove fiber and sugar alcohols, like erythritol, from the total carbohydrate count to get to the net carb count, as they do not affect your blood glucose levels. You should independently calculate nutritional information on your own and not rely on our data. The website or content herein is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. This website shall not be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or recommendations on the Website or actions you take as a result. Any action you take is strictly at your own risk.

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