There you are on a weekday night, prepping what appears to be a very healthy -- and quick -- dinner: whole wheat fussili topped with half a cup of marinara sauce and a medley of steamed broccoli, spinach, and sauteed onions and peppers.
Vitamin C? Check.
Four teaspoons of sugar? Check.
A third of a day's maximum sodium recommendation? Check.
(Insert sound of record coming to a screeching halt here).
Tomato-based pasta sauces are, in theory, nutritionally superior to cream-based ones.
Unfortunately, many popular brands provide as much sugar as half a can of Coke -- and as much salt as four strips of bacon -- in a mere half cup serving.
Some of the worst offenders are listed below (remember, these values are for just a half cup)!
Ragu Old World Style Marinara Sauce: 780 milligrams of sodium
Ragu Old World Style Traditional sauce: 780 milligrams of sodium
Prego "With meat" Sauce: 12 grams (1 tablespoon) of added sugar
Ragu Chunky Garden Style sauce: 13 grams (1 tablespoon) of added sugar
Prego Traditional Sauce: 15 grams (1.3 tablespoons) of added sugar
Did I mention they all contain high fructose corn syrup?
To make sure your healthy pasta dishes aren't tainted by sauces, take a look at the label.
Choose ones offering no more than 4 grams of sugar and 350 milligrams of sodium per half cup serving.
Some recommendations? Colavita, Rao's, and Muir Glen Organic.