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Is Butterscotch Sauce Keto-Friendly?

Butterscotch Sauce on a kitchen counter

When embarking on a ketogenic, or 'keto', diet, one of the key challenges can be determining which foods align with the low-carb, high-fat dietary guidelines.

Butterscotch Sauce, a beloved dessert topping known for its sweet, buttery flavor, is one such food item that merits a closer look.

Is Butterscotch Sauce Keto-Friendly? The short answer is, unfortunately, no.

But why? And what alternatives can you consider to satisfy your sweet tooth while adhering to your keto diet? In this article, we delve into the carbohydrate content of Butterscotch Sauce, explore its health implications on a keto diet, and provide practical tips for avoiding it in your meal plan.

We also suggest some keto-compatible alternatives, and share some concluding thoughts on maintaining a satisfying and healthy ketogenic lifestyle.

So, let's get started!


  • Butterscotch Sauce is not keto-friendly due to its high net carbohydrate content.
  • The main ingredients of Butterscotch Sauce, brown sugar and butter, can disrupt the metabolic state of ketosis.
  • Butterscotch Sauce can be replaced with keto-friendly alternatives such as sugar-free caramel sauce, nut butters, or homemade low-carb sauces.

Is Butterscotch Sauce Keto-Friendly?

Let's cut straight to the chase, folks: Butterscotch Sauce is not keto-friendly. Why is that, you ask? The answer lies in its carbohydrate content.

Macronutrient composition plays a vital role in determining whether a food fits into the keto diet or not. For something to be considered keto-friendly, it must be low in carbs, moderate in proteins, and high in fats. Unfortunately, Butterscotch Sauce doesn't make the cut.

Per 100 grams, Butterscotch Sauce contains 57.01 grams of net carbs. That's a significant amount, especially when considering that to maintain a state of ketosis (where your body burns fats instead of carbs for energy), your daily carb intake needs to lie somewhere between 20 to 50 grams.

So, if you were to indulge in 100 grams of Butterscotch Sauce, you'd be consuming more carbs than the maximum limit for a whole day on a strict keto diet. This could potentially kick you out of ketosis, thereby defeating the purpose of the diet altogether.

The sweet, sticky, and heavenly deliciousness of Butterscotch Sauce is undeniably hard to resist. Still, unfortunately, its high carbohydrate content makes it incompatible with a ketogenic diet. But don't fret just yet! The culinary world is vast, and there are plenty of keto-friendly alternatives that you can use to satisfy your sweet tooth. But we'll get to that later.

Can Butterscotch Sauce be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Given the high net carb content of Butterscotch Sauce, incorporating it into a strict keto diet would be a significant challenge. As we've discussed, a strict keto diet requires a daily carb intake between 20 to 50 grams to maintain a state of ketosis. With Butterscotch Sauce containing 57.01 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, even a small serving could push you over your daily carb limit.

It's important to remember that the goal of a ketogenic diet is to shift your body's metabolic state into ketosis, where it primarily burns fats for energy instead of carbohydrates. Consuming high-carb foods like Butterscotch Sauce can disrupt this process, making it difficult for your body to remain in ketosis.

So how can we ensure our carb intake remains within the required limits? One effective method is to track your daily intake of carbs, fats, and proteins. There are several mobile apps and online tools available that can help you log your food intake and keep track of your macro-nutrient consumption. These tools can be invaluable in helping you understand the nutritional composition of the foods you eat and make more informed dietary decisions.

While it's tempting to treat yourself with a spoonful of Butterscotch Sauce, understanding its high carb content and the potential impact on your keto diet can help curb the craving. However, there are many ketogenic-friendly alternatives to sugary sauces that can be just as satisfying. We'll explore these later in this article, so stick around!

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Butterscotch Sauce

To fully understand why Butterscotch Sauce is not keto-friendly, we need to delve into its carbohydrate content. As I mentioned earlier, per 100 grams, Butterscotch Sauce contains 57.01 grams of net carbs. Now, let's break this down.

The term 'net carbs' refers to the amount of carbohydrates that your body can digest and use for energy. It's calculated by subtracting the grams of fiber (which your body can't digest) from the total grams of carbs. In the case of Butterscotch Sauce, almost all of its carbohydrate content is digestible, meaning it provides a significant amount of energy - or in other words, calories.

The concept of net carbs is particularly important for individuals on a keto diet because it directly impacts the state of ketosis. The goal of a keto diet is to reduce carb intake so drastically that the body has to turn to fat for energy, entering a state of ketosis. If you consume more net carbs than your body can use for its immediate energy needs, it will exit ketosis and revert to using carbs as its primary fuel source.

Now, let's put this into perspective with a real-world example. Imagine you're about to enjoy a keto-friendly ice cream, and you're considering adding a tablespoon of Butterscotch Sauce. Sounds harmlessly delicious, right? However, a tablespoon of Butterscotch Sauce, which is approximately 20 grams, contains around 11.4 grams of net carbs. That's more than half of the lower limit of daily carb intake (20 grams) on a strict keto diet, in just one small serving!

This carbohydrate content doesn't even take into account the carbs you'll consume in the rest of your meals for the day. It becomes clear that incorporating Butterscotch Sauce into a keto diet, without exceeding the daily carb limit, would be quite a challenge.

Nutritional Snapshot of Butterscotch Sauce

Butterscotch Sauce offers a diverse nutritional profile, with a variety of both macro and micronutrients present. A 100g sample consists of 57.01g of carbohydrates, making it a rich source of energy, with 216.0kcal in total. It also contains 1.21g of protein.

On the micronutrient front, the sauce can contribute to your sodium intake with 341.0mg present, important for balancing fluids in the body. Potassium, another significant mineral, is found at 66.0mg, beneficial for heart and kidney functions.

The calcium content stands at 49.0mg, offering a contribution to bone health. Butterscotch Sauce also contains trace amounts of essential vitamins like Vitamin A (19.0ug), Vitamin B-12 (0.18ug), and Vitamin C (0.5mg), which play roles in various physiological functions such as vision, nerve function, and immune system support, respectively.

Other micronutrients include Magnesium (5.0mg), Phosphorus (39.0mg), Selenium (1.3ug), and total Folate (2.0ug), playing roles in muscle function, bone health, antioxidant activity, and cell growth, respectively.

The nutritional profile is completed with a surprisingly high 40.63g of water, making Butterscotch Sauce an unexpectedly hydrating treat.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Carbohydrate, by difference 57.01g
Protein 1.21g
Sodium, Na 341.0mg
Potassium, K 66.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 5.0mg
Calcium, Ca 49.0mg
Vitamin A 19.0ug
Vitamin B-12 0.18ug
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 0.5mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.05mg
Phosphorus, P 39.0mg
Selenium, Se 1.3ug
Folate, total 2.0ug
Choline, total 6.6mg
Retinol 19.0ug
Calories 216.0kcal
Water 40.63g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Butterscotch Sauce' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Topping, butterscotch or caramel ' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Butterscotch Sauce on a Keto Diet

Incorporating Butterscotch Sauce into a keto diet and maintaining a state of ketosis can present quite a challenge. As we've already established, the high net carb content of Butterscotch Sauce can potentially disrupt the metabolic state of ketosis. This disruption can hinder the body's ability to burn fat for energy, thereby impacting the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet.

But what else does Butterscotch Sauce bring to the table when it comes to our health and wellness?

Butterscotch Sauce owes its rich, sweet, and buttery flavor to its primary ingredients: brown sugar and butter. While these ingredients contribute to a delicious taste, they don't offer much in terms of nutritional value, especially for those on a keto diet.

Brown sugar, while slightly higher in minerals than white sugar due to the presence of molasses, is still a significant source of carbohydrates. Butter, on the other hand, does provide a substantial amount of fats - a key macro-nutrient for those on a keto diet. However, it's also high in saturated fats, which, in excess, can lead to health issues such as high cholesterol.

Furthermore, while some may argue that Butterscotch Sauce contains small amounts of minerals like calcium and potassium, the reality is that these amounts are quite negligible and don't contribute significantly to your daily nutritional requirements.

In short, while Butterscotch Sauce may prove tempting due to its tantalizing taste, it's not the best choice for a keto diet. Not only does it pose a challenge to maintaining ketosis due to its high net carb content, but it also doesn't contribute much in terms of nutritional value.

Avoiding Butterscotch Sauce in Your Keto Meal Plan

The first step in maintaining a successful keto diet is understanding how to balance your meal plans to ensure they remain low-carb. As we've discussed, Butterscotch Sauce, with its high carbohydrate content, can disrupt this balance. So, how can we avoid this sweet and creamy temptation in our diet?

The most straight-forward method is by simply not buying Butterscotch Sauce. It may seem obvious, but by not having it in your pantry, you eliminate the temptation to add it to your meals. However, this doesn't safeguard against consuming it outside your home. So, it's important to be aware of dishes that may contain Butterscotch Sauce.

Butterscotch Sauce is often found drizzled over desserts like ice cream, pudding, apple pie, and various types of pastries. Some cafes and restaurants may also use it as a sweetener in specialty coffees. When you're dining out or ordering food, don't hesitate to ask about the ingredients. Most establishments are more than willing to adapt their dishes to your dietary needs.

Cravings can be a real challenge when you're following a strict diet. If you find yourself yearning for the sweet, rich flavor of Butterscotch Sauce, try redirecting that craving towards keto-friendly alternatives. There are plenty of delicious, low-carb desserts and toppings that can satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking your diet.

Another method to curb cravings is to ensure that you're consuming enough fats and proteins. These macronutrients not only keep you satisfied but also help to stabilize your blood sugar levels, which can reduce cravings for sweets.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Butterscotch Sauce

While it's clear that Butterscotch Sauce doesn't align with the requirements of a keto diet, that doesn't mean you have to completely give up on the idea of a sweet, flavorful topping for your keto treats. Here are a few keto-friendly alternatives that can satisfy your sweet tooth while respecting the guidelines of your low-carb diet:

  1. Sugar-Free Caramel Sauce: A viable substitute you might consider is sugar-free caramel sauce. It provides a similar, rich and buttery flavor profile, without the high carbohydrate content of traditional Butterscotch Sauce. Made with sweeteners like Erythritol or Stevia, sugar-free caramel sauce typically contains less than 1 gram of net carbs per serving.
  2. You can drizzle it over your keto-friendly ice cream or use it to sweeten your coffee, just as you would with Butterscotch Sauce. It's a simple swap that can keep your taste buds happy and your carb intake low.

  3. Nut Butter: Nut butters, like almond butter or peanut butter, can be a satisfying addition to your keto diet. They provide a creamy texture and rich flavor, much like Butterscotch Sauce, but with a significantly lower net carb content. For instance, two tablespoons of natural almond butter contain approximately 3 grams of net carbs.
  4. Nut butters can be spread over low-carb bread, mixed into a protein shake, or even eaten straight from the spoon when you're in need of a quick and delicious snack.

  5. Homemade Keto-Friendly Sauce: If you enjoy cooking, why not try your hand at making a homemade keto-friendly sauce? You can create a rich and creamy sauce using ingredients like butter, cream, vanilla extract, and a low-glycemic sweetener like Erythritol. It won't taste exactly like Butterscotch Sauce, but it will offer a decadent flavor that pairs well with many desserts, all while keeping your carb intake in check.

Concluding Thoughts on Butterscotch Sauce and Keto

In navigating the world of keto-friendly eating, one quickly learns that not all foods fit within the dietary guidelines. Butterscotch Sauce, with its high net carb content, is one such food that poses a challenge for those on a keto diet. As we've explored, the high carbohydrate content, derived largely from the brown sugar and butter that give the sauce its classic taste, can knock an individual out of the metabolic state of ketosis, thereby hindering the effectiveness of the keto diet.

While Butterscotch Sauce might be a fondly remembered treat, its nutritional profile doesn't align with the macro-nutrient requirements of a keto diet. The key takeaway is that being mindful of your food choices and informed about their nutritional content is vital in maintaining a successful and healthy ketogenic lifestyle.

However, the journey doesn't stop at avoiding Butterscotch Sauce. We've discussed a few keto-friendly alternatives, such as sugar-free caramel sauce, nut butters, and homemade low-carb sauces. Experimenting with these options, and finding your own unique substitutions, can make your keto journey not just a diet, but a lifestyle change that is both enjoyable and satisfying.

Lastly, as an additional unique idea, consider exploring the world of keto-friendly baking. There are numerous recipes available that use low-carb flours and sweeteners to create delicious treats that can satisfy your sweet tooth without disrupting your ketosis. From almond flour muffins to coconut flour pancakes sweetened with Erythritol or Stevia, there's a world of possibilities out there to discover.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


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Frequently Asked Questions

There are very few commercial versions of keto-friendly Butterscotch Sauce available. However, you can make a homemade version using ingredients like butter, cream, vanilla extract, and a low-glycemic sweetener like Erythritol.

Traditional Butterscotch Sauce, made with brown sugar and butter, is high in carbs. A typical 2-tablespoon serving contains about 23 grams of carbohydrates.