Store-bought pasta sauce can be perfect for a quick, nutritious dinner, whether it’s served up with extra-lean ground beef over whole wheat pasta, or spooned over baked chicken breast with a sprinkle of parmesan. But some sauces can be loaded with added salt and sugar, so I'll help guide you with some of our best – and worst – bets when it comes to pasta sauce.Keep in mind, all tomato-based pasta sauces are great source of potassium and lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect against cancer, particularly prostate and breast cancer. Lycopene is actually better absorbed from cooked tomatoes (e.g. pasta sauce, tomato puree, etc) than raw tomatoes.
Sal & Judy’s Heart Smart Italian Sauce
Per half-cup serving this option is 35 calories with 0.5 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat and 2 grams sugar. It's very low in sodium compared to other brands with 250 mg of sodium per half cu. The first ingredient is vine-ripened tomatoes, which is great considering most other brands use tomato puree. To top it all off, there is no added salt or sugar.
Classico Pasta Sauce (any variety)
Per half-cup serving the Classico Pasta Sauce is 50 calories with 1 gram fat, 0 grams saturated fat and 5 grams sugar. I'd say the sodium content is moderate with 380 mg per half cup. There is no added sugar, the 5 grams listed is primarily from tomato puree and tomato juice, but unlike our 'Love it' option is does contain added salt.
Ragu Pasta Sauce
Per half-cup serving Ragu is 90 calories with 2.5 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat and 10 grams sugar. It's high in calories and has a higher sodium content with 460 mg per half cup. Ragu also contains added sugar - it's the third ingredient after tomato puree and diced tomatoes. It also has add3ed salt.
Mario Batali Alla Vodka Pasta Sauce
Per half-cup serving it's 140 calories with 12 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat and 2 grams sugar. This option has a moderate sodium content with 340 mg per half cup. It's very high in calories, and whipping cream adds to it's high saturated fat content - it has 20% of your day's limit per half cup! The Mario Batali Alla Vodka Pasta Sauce doesn't have added sugar, but it does contain added salt!