Ketchup vs. Mustard: Which Is Healthier?

A Canadian expert weighs in...

Nutrition pros say one is healthier. Do you know which one?

Ketchup and mustard are beloved toppers for burgers, hot dogs, French fries and more — but which is better for your health?

A Canadian registered dietitian with Everflex Fitness says one is better for you…

“The nutritional profiles of ketchup and mustard can vary significantly, depending on the types and quantities of ingredients used.”

Classic ketchup has tomato, vinegar, various forms of corn syrup, salt and spices… Some brands kick it up with seasonings like Sriracha, jalapeños and Cayenne…One tablespoon of ketchup contains 19 calories, about four grams of sugar and 150 mg of sodium. 

“A tablespoon of ketchup containing about four grams of sugar can add up quickly, especially if used generously.” 


While it’s higher in sugar and salt than other condiments, ketchup has some nutritional benefits…”It’s one of the best sources of lycopene, an antioxidant known to protect against prostate cancer.”

The nutrition profile of mustard

So what’s in that piquant yellow condiment? 

“Classic mustard has mustard seed, vinegar, salt and spices, but typically does not contain sugar, unless it’s intended to be sweet, like honey mustard.”

“Most mustard nutrition labels display one serving as zero calories because foods that contain less than five calories per serving are allowed to round down to zero.”

The serving size of one teaspoon of mustard typically contains 3-5 calories and about 110mg of sodium..

“So, if you’re having numerous portions of mustard, it won’t be zero calories, but it’s also not common to eat quantities of mustard to the extent that the total calories are significant.”

Mustard is not a significant source of many nutrients, it’s typically free of sugar, trans fats and cholesterol. 

turmeric contains curcumin and gives mustard its bright yellow colour (most bright, colourful whole foods contain antioxidants). 

“Curcumin is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.” Overall experts agree that Mustard is the healthier choice…