This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Worcestershire sauce is one of the most popular condiments to use when marinating and stir-frying meat and veggies.
It enhances your meal’s taste by adding a balance of sweetness and saltiness.
The kitchen staple even serves as an ingredient in the alcoholic drink Bloody Mary.
Is there a keto substitute for Worcestershire sauce?
We share with you the different types of Worcestershire sauce, whether it is keto-friendly, and some keto alternatives for this favored condiment.
What is Worcestershire Sauce?
Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment made from vinegar, anchovies, tamarind, and more.
Developed in Worcester, England, chemists John Lea and William Perrins were testing vinegar-based seasoning sauces and abandoned one that they didn’t like.
The sauce fermented and developed a more complex flavor, which they surprisingly liked. They produced more and Lea & Perrins spread throughout the world.
Worcestershire sauce is manufactured by different brands now.
As mentioned, vinegar is one of the main ingredients of this sauce. Anchovies add umami, while tamarind adds spice and tang.
Worcestershire sauce in the US has a different recipe from the UK. It uses distilled white vinegar instead of malt vinegar, and three times as much sugar and sodium.
Types of Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce is a condiment made with vinegar and flavored with anchovies, molasses, tamarind, onion, garlic, and other seasonings.
This sweet yet savory sauce is fermented and that gives it an additional tangy taste.
Here are the three common varieties of Worcestershire sauce aside from the original.
Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce
The gluten-free diet has become popular of late, resulting in gluten-free variants of different products like Worcestershire sauce.
It is made with distilled white vinegar instead of malt vinegar. Be sure to check the label to know if it is really gluten-free.
Vegetarian or Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
With vegan Worcestershire, the anchovies are eliminated and replaced with plant based flavorings instead.
Low-Sodium Worcestershire Sauce
Most brands offer Worcestershire sauce in lower sodium versions. These are ideal for people trying to reduce their salt intake or those who simply don’t like their sauce salty.
Worcestershire Sauce Nutrition
Worcestershire sauce has many nutrients because of ingredients like molasses, garlic, etc.
One of its main ingredients is tamarind, a tropical fruit that can lower blood sugar, help you lose weight, and reverse fatty liver disease.
Anchovies in Worcestershire sauce have omega-3 fatty acids that help with brain and heart health. They also protect the thyroid from health issues.
The most common Worcestershire sauce in the United States has the following ingredients:
- distilled white vinegar
- chili pepper extract
- natural flavorings
- tamarind extract.
Worcestershire sauce has vitamins B6 and E that help with healthier immune and nervous systems.
Can You Have Worcestershire Sauce on Keto?
Is Worcestershire sauce keto-friendly? Aside from having low or no carbs, keto-friendly also means it is worth it to spend that amount of carbs on the food.
Keto-friendly foods should also have healthy ingredients that provide nutritional benefits.
The classic Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce only has 1g of carb per teaspoon or serving.
That makes it suitable for the keto diet in terms of carb content.
You can marinate your meat, fish, or poultry with it without worrying about your ketosis. You can use it while steaming, grilling, or stir-frying low-carb veggies too.
This sauce can also be used as a seasoning for salads and shellfish.
However, experts recommend only having one serving a day not because it may kick you out of ketosis, but because it offers very few nutrients.
Many brands also contain molasses and high-fructose corn syrup which are not allowed on keto.
Molasses are byproducts of the process of refining sugar from sugar beets or sugar cane. We know that sugar knocks you out of ketosis or will pause your journey to ketosis.
Most foods with sugars are restricted on keto, and this should include Worcestershire sauce.
A teaspoon or two won’t hurt! Just don’t use too much.
Keto Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce
If you want to lower your carb count without making a huge difference in the taste you can just go for any soy sauce!
Try Kikkoman Soy Sauce. 1 teaspoon only contains 0.3g net carbs. This sauce is commonly used with sushi.
It is also naturally processed for full flavor from ingredients like water, wheat, beans, and salt.
You can also spice it up a bit with fresh ginger root or lemon.
Vinegar is one of the main ingredients in Worcestershire sauce. And if you don’t want to go all DIY on your keto sauce, just use balsamic vinegar.
Both balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce are tart, sweet, and complex.
Soy Sauce, Lemon Juice, Hot Sauce
Low-carb soy sauce is the best substitute for Worcestershire sauce because it has the same taste. But the consistency is not the same.
If you add lemon juice and hot sauce, the acidic and slightly spicy flavor is added!
Add about 3-4 drops of hot sauce and ¼ teaspoon of lemon juice to your soy sauce for an umami and savory taste.
Tamarind Paste, Soy Sauce, White Vinegar
For this recipe, you just need to mash tamarind and drain the liquid. Then you can add soy sauce and white vinegar depending on your preference.
This substitute has no carbs and has a tangy taste that is perfect for dressings and marmalades.
Red Wine Vinegar and Liquid Aminos
Another way to make your own Worcestershire sauce is by combining red wine vinegar with liquid aminos.
This is perfect for vinaigrettes, marinades, and pickling! It has no sugar and salt, so you can enjoy it without guilt.
How to Store Worcestershire Sauce
Before opening the bottle, you can store Worcestershire sauce at room temperature.
Once it’s already opened, refrigerate it to preserve the flavor.
Worcestershire sauce has a general shelf life of two years. Once it has exceeded it, it can lose its flavor and aroma.
Just look at the “best by” date printed on the bottle.
FAQ Keto Diet Sauces
What is the Best Brown Sugar Alternative for Homemade Worcestershire Sauce?
If you’re planning to add a low-carb sweetener to your keto sauce, a brown sugar alternative is a great option.
Molasses in Worcestershire sauce is also the same ingredient used to make brown sugar. Here, white sugar is added to create real brown sugar.
There are lots of brown sugar alternatives you can use on keto. Make sure to consider the ratio.
Can I Use Maple Syrup for Homemade Worcestershire Sauce?
There are homemade Worcestershire sauces that use maple syrup along with garlic, onions, and minced jalapeno.
But remember that maple syrup is not keto-friendly. Even if it is a natural sweetener that offers a lot of benefits, it can still affect your ketosis.
But there are maple syrup substitutes you can try on keto!
What Else Kicks Me Out of Ketosis?
In general, any food or drink that is high in carbs can knock you out of ketosis if you eat too much.
These include grains like bread and rice and starchy veggies like potatoes and yams.
Drinks that are high in sugar can also kick you out of ketosis.
Find out the different foods and drink that knock you out of ketosis.
Does Corn Syrup Kick Me Out of Ketosis?
Corn syrup, which is often found in Worcestershire sauce, can kick you out of ketosis. This sweet syrup is made from breaking down corn starch.
Aside from being high in carbs, it also contains very few nutrients and health benefits. In fact, it plays a key role in the development of obesity.
Swap your corn syrup with keto-friendlier substitutes now.
Marinate, Season, and Dress Your Keto Meals!
Worcestershire sauce on keto is only acceptable in small amounts, specifically 1 tsp a day.
If you want a zero-carb substitute for your dressing or marinade, try making your own Worcestershire sauce with healthy keto ingredients.
If you want to sweeten your sauce, try adding one of these low-carb sweeteners!