Pasta - a quick, convenient and low-cost family dinner that can be as nutritious as you want it to be. Sure, you can rustle up something from scratch every time. Alternatively, you can do what most of us do and buy a jar from the shops to get you started. But if you're looking for good nutrition, how can you tell what the best options are? Here's my list of 10 healthy pasta sauces you can buy from the supermarket to help guide you.
Paul's 10 healthy supermarket pasta sauces
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Nutritional information for 80 different brands available in your local supermarket, all in one easy to read three page document
Bonus Tips for Selecting a Healthy Pasta Sauce in the Supermarket
Look at the salt content
Some supermarket pasta sauces contain over 50% of your recommended daily salt intake. And that's just in a single serving. For a healthier option, choose a pasta sauce that contains under 400mg of sodium per 100g.
Watch out for the added sugar too
Tomatoes, particularly once cooked and processed can acquire a bit of sourness. For this reason, sugar is often added to bring out the natural sweetness of the tomato. That being said, while a little is fine, a lot certainly isn't. Some supermarket brands have pasta sauces with up to 3 teaspoons in each serve, not exactly healthy. Look for a sauce with less than 5g sugar per 100g.
If in doubt, skip the supermarket and make your own healthy pasta sauce
All you need to start off with is good tomatoes. You can even start at the shops and grab a tin of chopped tomatoes or a jar of passata to start as your base. Simply add whatever fresh or dried herbs you like along with any spices to boost the flavour. Not only will you have a secret family recipe in the making, but you'll also know exactly what's in your meal.