Just how much sugar is in your favourite pasta sauces?

Now that Mars Foods has advised we only eat their Dolmio pasta sauces once a week because of the high levels of sugar, we've taken a look at some of our other favourite brands to see if the sugar content is just as bad

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Sugar is the new evil ingredient hidden away in the food we buy. Guidelines from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) state that only 5% of your diet should be added or ‘free’ sugars (these are the natural sugars found in fruit such as tomatoes). The recommended daily guidelines are:

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  • 19g or 4.5 tsp for children aged 4 to 6
  • 24g or 6 tsp for children aged 7 to 10
  • 30g or 7.5 tsp for 11 years and over, based on average population diet

However, in light of the recent warnings that some ready-made sauces should only be eaten once a week, we can reveal that you could be getting most of your daily sugar intake just from your pasta topping.

1. Ragu Smooth Bolognese Pasta Basil Sauce

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A favourite as a base for a Bolognese, Ragu’s pasta sauce comes with a whopping 8g of sugar per 100g.  

The jars come in 375g and serve 2-3 people, meaning you’d be consuming 125g minimum, containing 10g sugar,

  • 34 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those over 11
  • 42 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those aged 7 to 10  
  • 53 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those aged 4 to 6

2. Tesco Tomato & Basil Sauce for Meatballs

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Tasty in meatballs, spag bol or even on its own with pasta, Tesco’s own brand Tomato & Basil Sauce has 6.9g sugar per 100g. 

The jars come in 500g and serve 3-4 people, meaning you’d be consuming 125g minimum, containing 8.6g sugar

  • 29 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those over 11
  • 36 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those aged 7 to 10  
  • 45 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those aged 4 to 6

3. Dolmio Bolognese Pasta Sauce Chunky Tomato and Basil 

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The brand that’s put the spotlight on how much sugar is in its sauces by recommending we only consume them once a week, Dolmio’s basic bolognese sauce contains 6.5g sugar per 100g.

The jars come in 500g and serve 4 people, meaning you’d be consuming 125g, containing 8.1g sugar

  • 27 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those over 11
  • 34 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those aged 7 to 10  
  • 42.6 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those aged 4 to 6

4. Napolina Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce

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Napolina does a range of sauces and products for Italian-style cooking, their standard Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce contains 5.8g sugar.

The jars come in 350g and serve 2 people, meaning you’d be consuming 175g, containing 10.1g sugar

  • 34 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those over 11
  • 42 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those aged 7 to 10
  • 53 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those aged 4 to 6

5. Weight Watchers Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

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Marketed as a healthy alternative, Weight Watchers sauce still contains 5.3g of sugar per 100g.

The jars come in 350g and serve 2 people, meaning you’d be consuming 175g, containing 9.3g sugar

  • 31 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those over 11
  • 39 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those aged 7 to 10  
  • 49 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those aged 4 to 6

6. Loyd Grossman Tomato & Basil

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Loyd Grossman is at the upper price range of the pasta sauces you might find in the supermarkets, however, its sugar content is at the lower end with 4.8g of sugar per 100g.

The jars come in 350g and serve 2 people, meaning you’d be consuming 175g, containing 8.4g sugar

  • 28 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those over 11
  • 35 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those aged 7 to 10  
  • 44 per cent of the daily recommended intake for those aged 4 to 6

7. Tin of chopped tomatoes

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So what about a humble tin of chopped tomatoes? A typical tin of 400g contains around 4g sugar per 100g, which is almost half the amount of some of our favourite pasta sauces.

It seems the alternative is to make your own pasta sauces but be careful not to add any additional sugar <sigh>

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