Is Ortega Taco Sauce Keto Friendly?

  • Date: January 8, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

On its website, Ortega claims that Ortega Taco Sauce is the best-selling taco sauce in America, but is Ortega taco sauce keto friendly? While Ortega Taco Sauce isn’t overall the most Keto-friendly sauce out there – you might just be able to incorporate it if you practice caution. Let’s break it down.

What is Ortega Taco Sauce?

Ortega taco sauce is a tomato (and tomatillo, in the case of green version) and pepper-based thick sauce. The big difference between the taco sauce and regular salsa is that all ingredients are pureed, which ensures a smooth texture. 

Aside from tomatoes/tomatillos and paprika, all varieties of Ortega taco sauce contain; garlic, vinegar, salt, and spices, cornstarch for texture, as well as preservatives such as citric acid, sodium benzoate, and xanthan gum.

Despite what the name may suggest, taco sauce isn’t just for tacos – it can be used in a variety of dishes, as well as a dipping sauce.

A Keto-Cap (aka A Keto Recap!)

If you’re new to keto and want a bit more information, check out our keto beginners guide.

As a quick summary, if you need it, the keto (also known as the ketogenic diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet.

The whole concept of the keto diet is that your body transitions from burning glucose, in simple terms, sugars or carbohydrates, to burning fat as its primary fuel source.

For a keto diet, people will restrict their macros to eating;

  • 70% of their calories from fat
  • 25% from protein
  • 5% from carbohydrates

Sticking to these macros for a period of time will put your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body has transitioned from burning carbohydrates as its primary fuel source to burning fat for fuel. It is at this point that you will start to see and feel the benefits of the keto diet.

There are a lot of new terms and abbreviations that you may come across, sometimes it can feel like a new language that you need to learn. In order to help you out and keep you on the right track, we have created a keto terms and keto abbreviations guide, bookmark these to make your keto journey easier.

Some people can be put off the keto diet because of the side effects, however, these are only short-lived and the health benefits of keto far outweigh the side effects.

One of the main benefits which attract people to the keto diet is that it can cause significant reductions in insulin levels (by up to 75%) and blood sugar levels, which can be attractive to those that struggle with diabetes, amongst other health complaints.

What is the Nutritional Value of Ortega Taco Sauce?

Ortega Taco Sauce may become a threat to your Keto diet unless you pay careful attention to the amount you consume.

Here’s a chart of the sauce’s nutritional value per 100g vs per 1 serving (defined by its producer as 1 tbsp/16g)

  Macros per 100gMacros per 1 Tbsp (16g)
Carbs: 12.5 grams
Protein: 0 grams
Fat: 0 grams
Fiber: 0 grams
Sugar: 6.5 grams
Calories: ~63    
Carbs: 2 grams
Protein: 0 grams
Fat: 0 grams
Fiber: 0 grams
Sugar: 1 gram
Calories: ~10

How Many Net Carbs are there in Ortega Taco Sauce?

As there is no fiber and/or sugar alcohols in Ortega Taco Sauce, you get exactly what it says on the tin – the 2g of carbs per serving (which amounts to 12.5g of carbs per 100g of sauce) is the amount of net carbs.

No need to do any math here.

Is Ortega Taco Sauce Keto Friendly?

Looking at the ingredients, Ortega sauce contains cornstarch, which is not keto friendly if you are undertaing a strict keto diet. From this point of view Ortega Taco Sauce isn’t particularly Keto-friendly, it nets far too high a number of carbs for that.

But the nature of the product itself complicates it all a little bit. Adding 1 or 2 servings of Ortega Taco sauce to your meal isn’t likely to up the carb content to dangerous levels, unless the meal is already high in carbs, to begin with, this is if you are enjoying a non-strict keto diet whcih is more focused around the total carbs consumed and not as concerned with the quality of the ingredients that you are eating.

You should not be liberal with it, but adding a dollop to a cauliflower-tortilla taco isn’t going to kick you out of ketosis, as long as you stick to lower carb meals for the rest of the day.

What are the Best Keto Alternatives to Ortega Taco Sauce?

If you don’t want to waste precious carbs on a sauce, you can use a zero-carb hot sauce like Tabasco or Cholula for heat and/or make a keto-friendly tomato sauce at home yourself.

Ortega Taco Sauce

Keto Top Tips

Staying hydrated on the keto diet is really important, for more on how much water you should be drinking, check out our guide to staying hydrated on the keto diet.

If you’re planning on dehydrating yourself(!) and drinking alcohol on the keto diet, check out our ultimate guide to drinking alcohol on a keto diet. Also, you may be interested in, how to recover from a cheat day.

Summary: Is Ortega Taco Sauce Keto Friendly?

So, Is Ortega Taco Sauce Keto Friendly? Yes and No! It is relatively hihg in carbs, and contains cornstartch, which is not keto friendly. From our point of view, as long as you are not eating a strict keto diet and you plan the carbs into your daily macros, you can still enjoy Ortega in moderation on a keto diet.

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