TikTok's Healthy Heinz Ketchup Copycat Replaces Corn Syrup With A Nutritious Alternative

There are lots of nutrition fads that come and go. The No-fat diet is in, then it's out. People say eggs are bad for you until suddenly they're good for you again. But when it comes to foods with lots of added sugars or high fructose corn syrup, it seems like the long-running consensus is that their consumption should be minimal. In fact, the USDA says that the average adult should consume 12 teaspoons or less of added sugars a day (a can of coke contains seven), and according to UC Davis, "The negative health effects of high fructose consumption include higher triglycerides, decreased insulin sensitivity, and increased uric acid production." But both added sugars and high fructose corn syrup can pop up in unexpected places, so avoiding them can be hard.

Just look at Heinz ketchup. A 1-tablespoon serving contains 4 grams of added sugar, and high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup are third and fourth on its ingredients list. There are a couple of different reasons why manufacturers use HFCS over cane or beet sugar, including cost (it's cheaper). But like regular corn syrup, it also has an unctuous texture that can help thicken up the foods it's added to. That's why, if you're trying to make copycat ketchup at home, you don't want to just replace the HFCS with granulated sugar. One TikToker showed that you can swap it out for an ingredient that some would argue is more nutritious, anyway: date syrup.

What is date syrup?

Date syrup is made by soaking dates in water, blending them, straining the liquid, and reducing the liquid until it has a syrupy texture. While it does contain sugar — a 1-tablespoon serving contains 13 grams of sugar — these are sugars that naturally occur in dates. Date syrup also contains nutrients like potassium, folate, and magnesium, which is why some people feel that it's a healthier sweetener than granulated sugar. But importantly, it has a thick, sticky texture, which is similar to the texture of corn syrup.

Because of that, when you use date syrup to make homemade ketchup, it helps mimic the texture of store-bought ketchup. It also boosts the flavor of the ketchup, thanks to its own subtle molasses, carmel-y taste. The TikTok viral healthy homemade Heinz ketchup copycat recipe lets the date syrup shine, as it calls for a simple ingredients list that includes tomato paste, date syrup, and spices. After a simmer, the mixture reduces and thickens to the texture of store-bought ketchup, so you have the perfect french fry accompaniment that you can enjoy, all without the high fructose corn syrup.