. Does Mayo have Carbs? A Review of 10 Common Condiments and Their Impact on Blood Sugar

Does Mayo have Carbs? A Review of 10 Common Condiments and Their Impact on Blood Sugar

I have gotten questions like “Does mayo have carbs?” or “Is ketchup a free food?” or “Can I even eat BBQ sauce?” frequently from patients over the years so I decided to create an article that breaks down some of the commonly used condiments, the impact they may have on blood sugar, and some great alternatives to consider.

When counting counting carbs, it is so easy to overlook condiments and forget they even have carbs, or just assume that the amount you are using isn’t enough to worry about. However, that is not always the case. Due to differing amounts of carbs and fat in the condiments we eat, they can play a sneaky role in blood sugar management. Some condiments can also contain quite a bit of sodium which is something we also want to keep an eye on.

Let’s take a look at some common condiments.

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Does Mayo Have Carbs?

Mayo is very low in carbs.  One tablespoon of Hellman’s Mayo contains 90 calories, 11 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbs, and 0 grams of protein.

While there are no carbs in mayo to spike the blood sugar directly, studies show that foods with a high fat content can cause the blood sugar to stay elevated for an extended amount of time. This is why portion control, even for condiments low in carbs, is still an important factor to consider.

Review of 10 Common Condiments

Let’s take a look at some commonly used condiments and the impact they have on the blood sugar. For easy comparisons, we will look at a two tablespoon serving for each of these condiments.

  • BBQ Sauce- A traditional BBQ sauce will generally have around 60 calories, 16 grams of carbs, and 240 mg of sodium per two tablespoon serving. This can add up VERY quickly contributing to post meal blood sugar spikes.
  • Ketchup – Two tablespoons of ketchup contains around 40 calories, 10 grams of carbs, and 300 mg of sodium. While not quite as high in carbs as BBQ sauce, ketchup is another sneaky source of hidden carbs that you may not be accounting for.
  • Mustard – The same two tablespoon serving of yellow mustard contains only around 18 calories and 2 grams of carbs, and around 340 mg of sodium.
  • Sriracha – Sriracha contains around 36 calories, 7 grams of carbs, and a whopping 828mg of sodium per two tablespoon serving!
  • Soy Sauce – Regular soy sauce contains around 17 calories, 2 grams of carbs, and 1,758 mg of sodium (which is ALMOST an entire day’s worth) per 2 tablespoons. I always opt for the low sodium soy sauce which still contains a high amount of sodium at around 1,150 mg, but less than the regular soy sauce.
  • Pasta Sauce – Pasta sauces can vary quite a bit in their nutritional content and we typically use more than 2 tablespoons at a time. A two tablespoon serving generally has around 15 calories, 2.5 grams of carbs, and 95 mg of sodium. When using pasta sauce, 1/2 cup is a more typical serving size which contains around 60 calories, 20 grams of carbs, and 760 mg of sodium.
  • Ranch Dressing – Ranch dressing will contain around 130 calories, 2 grams of carbs, and 270 mg of sodium per serving making it low in carbs, however it will also contain around 13 grams of fat. A fat free ranch will be quite a bit lower in fat and calories but they often add some sugar to give it a more pleasant taste.
  • Hot Sauce – The same two tablespoon serving of hot sauce will contain only around 5 calories with hardly any carbs, but the sodium is the problem weighing in at around 740 mg of sodium. Luckily we only need a small amount of hot sauce to give our food some heat and flavor.
  • Honey Mustard – Honey mustard contains around 130 calories, 6 grams of carbs, 150 mg of sodium, and 11 grams of fat per two tablespoon serving. Light versions are available which can help reduce the calories by about half.
  • Sour Cream – Two tablespoons of sour cream contains around 60 calories, 2 grams of carbs, 60 mg of sodium, and 5 grams of fat.

Ideas for Condiment Alternatives

For those of us with diabetes, sometimes opting for alternative condiments can be helpful. Some of my favorite options are:

  • Low sugar versions of your favorite condiments – I love shopping at Thrive Market for healthier versions (and lower prices) of my favorite condiments such as the Primal Kitchen Unsweetened Ketchup which contains only 2 grams of carbs per tablespoon.
  • Avocado – Slice or mash up some avocado and add it to your sandwich, mix it into chicken or egg salad, or add it to a salad for some creaminess with a dose of fiber and healthy fat.
  • Greek yogurt – Plain greek yogurt is packed with protein and can be a great alternative to sour cream.
  • Hummus – Hummus is made from chickpeas which are full of fiber, making them a great option for people with diabetes.
  • Salsa – Salsa is generally low in calories and carbs and can add great flavor to your meals. We love using salsa as a salad dressing or adding it to the center of a hard boiled egg white for a tasty snack.
  • Pesto – While pesto may not be the lowest calorie option, it is very low in carbs and contains healthy fat. It can be a nice alternative to pasta sauce. Try making homemade pesto and adding some spinach in – your kids will never know!
  • Vinegar – Vinegar comes in many varieties and flavors and can be another great way to flavor foods. Try making your own simple salad dressing by mixing 2-3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.
  • Fresh herbs – Don’t underestimate the value of fresh herbs! Adding herbs like basal, rosemary, garlic, cilantro, or thyme will give your food tons of flavor without adding carbs.
  • Lemon juice – A squeeze of lemon juice is another great way to bring out the flavor in food. Try adding a squeeze of lemon juice to baked fish or chicken. Did you know that adding lemon juice can help aid in iron absorption due to the high vitamin C content?

Remember that portion control is still key, even with these healthy alternatives!


So, does mayo have carbs?  No, BUT the high fat content could have a lasting impact on your blood sugar even hours later. Remember to always consider condiments in your carb counts and be mindful of portion sizes.

Don’t forget to consider other nutrients such as the type of fat and amount of sodium in your condiments for overall heath.

Make sure to check out Thrive Market for tons of better-for-you condiment alternatives. You can also grab dozens of healthy snacks for you and your kids from Thrive Market. This link will give you 40% off your first order!

Make sure to follow ABC Nutrition Solutions on instagram @abcnutritionsolutions for more tips, recipe ideas, and insider content and don’t forget to join the email list below!

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