Low-Carb Sauce Thickeners

23 Dec.,2022


cellulose thickener

If you are trying to eat a balanced, healthy diet, it is important to avoid excess simple carbohydrates or starches. However, even some homemade foods may have hidden carbs that can add up. Sauces that are made with traditional food-thickeners such as white flour and cornstarch are high in simple carbohdyrates that add sugars and calories to your diet. Instead of eating dry or plain food, thicken sauces with healthy alternatives that are low carbohydrate and nutrient rich.

Vegetable Puree

MayoClinic.com recommends using vegetables such as carrots and cauliflower as an alternative to flour and cornstarch. The vegetables should be boiled until soft and then pureed to make a paste that is blended into sauces and other foods as a thickening agent. Carrots are naturally sweet and your sauce may not require any added sugar. Other alternatives include mashed potatoes and tofu, however potatoes are simple carbohydrates and should not be used to make a low-carb sauce.

Whole-wheat Flour

All-purpose flour that is used in baked goods and breads usually contains refined, white flour. It is often added to water or melted butter to make a paste to thicken sauces, gravies, stews and soups. Though only a small amount of white flour is added as a thickening agent, it can increase the total amount of carbohydrates in your diet. MayoClinic.com recommends using whole-wheat flour instead of white or all-purpose flour to thicken foods. Whole-wheat flour contains less carbohydrates and adds healthy fiber to your sauce.


Barley is a whole grain that is packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. The Cleveland Clinic notes that it also contains fiber and is low in carbohydrates. Barley flour can be used to thicken sauces instead of flour or cornstarch. You can also boil barley and puree it to make a soft paste that can then be added to a healthy low-carb sauce.


Another alternative to thicken a sauce without adding extra carbohydrates is flaxseed. The Cleveland Clinic recommends this superfood as it is rich in fiber, iron and omega-3 fatty acids. You can finely grind flaxseeds in a coffee grinder and add it to sauces and other foods.

Oat Flour

Oats contain high amounts of the minerals magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that this grain is also rich in soluble fiber and is a complex carbohydrate. Raw oats can be finely ground into a flour that can be used to make gluten-free bread and other baked goods. You can also use oat flour as a low-carbohydrate sauce thickener.