How many carbs in tomato sauce? This is a question that many people have, especially those who are on a low-carb diet. While the answer varies depending on the type of tomato sauce, most contain a relatively small amount of carbs.
One cup of canned tomato sauce typically has around 13-16 grams of carbs, according to the USDA, though the count varies depending on the sugar content added to the product. If you make your own tomato sauce, you will know exactly what goes into it and can keep the carbs at bay.
If you’re trying to watch your carb intake, you can still enjoy tomato sauce occasionally without worrying too much about the carbs, but you will definitely need to consider the serving size and what the sauce is accompanying in order to stay within a low range.
And that’s just the sauce – not the pasta, bread or other delicious things you might be eating with it. If you’re watching your carb intake, you’ll want to keep an eye on your portion sizes. A little goes a long way when it comes to this delicious condiment.
What is a Serving Size of Tomato Sauce?
A typical serving size of canned tomato sauce is one cup, which is equivalent to 245 grams. In this one cup of sauce, there are 13g of total carbs, 9.3g net carbs, 0.7g fat, 2.9g protein, and 59 calories, according to Carb Manager.
For a low-carb diet, where you’re trying to keep below 50 grams of carbs per day, this amount of tomato sauce likely fits in fairly well. It’s not an overwhelming amount of net carbs. However, if you’re on a keto diet, trying to stay below 20 grams, it’s half your daily total.
For a keto diet, a typical serving size of tomato sauce is 61 grams or around 1/4 of a cup. In one serving, there are 3 total grams of carbs and .94 grams of fiber in tomato sauce (source).
Just over 2 net grams of carbs for a 1/4 cup of sauce is within the range for almost anyone on a low-carb or keto diet, even if you’re closely watching your macros and trying to stay under 20 grams of carbs per day.
It’s always best to measure your serving either with measuring cups or on the scale, so you can be sure how much you’re eating.
How Many Net Carbs are in Tomato Sauce?
When calculating the number of carbs in tomato sauce, you’ll want to keep in mind that the carbs that really matter to your dieting and your macros is the net carbs, which is the total carbs minus fiber.
Tomatoes do have some fiber, but not a large amount. They will definitely counterbalance some of the carbs in the sauce, however. You can expect there to be 3.7 grams of fiber in one cup of tomato sauce. The total carbs are 13 grams, so the total net carbs are 9.3 grams.
If you stick with the 1/4 cup serving mentioned above, the total net carbs in that serving will be 2.3 grams. It’s just very important to seek out brands that do not have any added sugar, as the carb count will go up if sugar is added.
Can I Eat Tomato Sauce on Keto?
Yes, you can eat tomato sauce on keto. While tomatoes do have some sugar, they aren’t a high-sugar food. You can eat tomatoes in moderation on a keto diet. So it stands to reason that you can also eat tomato sauce, especially with no added sugar.
As there are 9.3 net grams of carbs in one cup of tomato sauce, you will likely need to lower your serving size in order for it to fit within your macros. A serving size of 1/4 cup is enough to pour over your meatballs or spiralized zucchini, and it only contains 2.3 net grams of carbs.
Just be sure you’ve looked at the nutrition information on the side of the jar if you’re buying the sauce. It’s always easier to make your own sauce, to be sure there isn’t added sugar adding carbs in tomato sauce.
What to Watch Out For in Tomato Sauce
Not all brands of tomato sauce are created equal. There will be some that contain extra sugar and are not ideal for a keto or low-carb or low-sugar diet. Sugar is hidden away in many of the jarred sauces in the grocery store these days. You have to be extra vigilant and check the label to suss it out.
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommends that only 5% of your daily intake come from added or ‘free’ sugars (like the natural sugars found in tomatoes). That’s not a lot. Some brands of jarred tomato sauce contain as much as 8 grams of sugar per 100 grams. That’s about 1/4 of your daily total!
I like to make my own tomato sauce from canned tomatoes, because I can be sure there are no added ingredients. There are only 4 grams of ‘free’ sugar in 100 grams of canned tomatoes.
Always check the back of the jar and look for sauces that have less than 6 grams of sugar per 100 grams. Also check the carbohydrates total to make sure it’s not abnormally high, which is indicative of added sugar.
How to Make Your Own Tomato Sauce
- 14 ounces can chopped tomatoes with no added sugar
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or oregano, thyme, and sage)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash of black pepper
Pour the tomatoes into the pan, along with the seasonings. Stir and continue to cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes until slightly thickened.
How to Use Tomato Sauce
Homemade tomato sauce is incredibly easy to make and it goes well with many dishes. I like to pour it over meatballs with some melted mozzarella on top. It’s the perfect keto meal.
Here are some ideas for how to use tomato sauce in your meals.
What to Serve
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Laura is dedicated to a low-carb lifestyle after losing 52 pounds on the keto diet. As many of us do, she struggles with her weight and has found that one of the only diet lifestyles that allows her to maintain a healthy weight is a low-carb diet. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.