Your BBQ Sauce Probably Has More Sugar Than You Think

Whether you're grilling up a simple dinner for yourself or pulling out all the stops for an extravaganza with multiple meat options, there's no denying that a well-crafted BBQ sauce can be seriously tasty on some perfectly-cooked proteins. Sure, some cuts like steak require nothing more than a little salt and pepper, but for a juicy burger, what's the harm in slapping on a little sauce of your choosing? There are even plenty of unique options on the market that can add a little extra flavor to your dish.

However, there is just one thing to be aware of with this particular condiment — the sugar content. Though the savory flavor and slightly acidic tang may lead you to believe that BBQ sauces contain no sugar at all, or very minimal amounts, many options are shockingly high in sugar (via Healthline). The amount will obviously vary between brands and even between flavors, but the numbers are likely higher than you would have guessed. A sauce like Sweet Baby Ray's Original Barbecue Sauce packs 16 grams of sugar into just two tablespoons, and the same amount of Bull's Eye Original BBQ Sauce has 12 grams, according to Insider.

How to find BBQ sauce options without all the added sugar

There are so many different flavors within BBQ sauce, from the tomato flavor notes to the tang of vinegar to the slight spice of Worcestershire sauce, that you don't necessarily need all that sweetness in order to enjoy a tasty sauce. If you're not a big fan of dousing your otherwise healthy meal with a sugary condiment, you're in luck — there are some options out there. The easiest way to combat sugary sauces is to simply read the labels and find a brand that doesn't include quite as much sugar. Most grocery stores will have a variety of options in their condiment aisle, and spending a few minutes reading the various offerings will hopefully steer you in the right direction. 

If you need a little more guidance, there are several resources that can help you identify some contenders. For example, Women's Health consulted nutritionists and put together a list of 14 different healthy BBQ sauces to try out, which include a mango jalapeño variety that has only 5 grams of sugar. Another option is to simply make your own — that way, you can control exactly how much sugar it contains, as well as controlling other potentially problematic elements like the sodium content (via Livestrong).