Origin of tomatoes, presence of pesticides or sugar… On the shelves, is your heart torn between the different tomato sauces? To make the right choice, Alexandra Murcier, dietitian-nutritionist, gives us her instructions.
In a pizza, a pasta dish or a gratin: tomato sauce is absolutely everywhere. However, we hardly pay attention to it, as it conquers us every time. Big mistake! Tomato sauce – generally industrial – is not as harmless as it seems: it can contain sugar, salt but also oil and numerous pesticides. Choosing it carefully is therefore essential, as Alexandra Murcier, dietician-nutritionist, reminds us.
No added sugar”
First point and not least: the quantity of sugars in the product.
“The mention “carbohydrates including sugars” must be as low as possible“, says Alexandra Murcier.
The dietitian-nutritionist also recommends using the Yuka application, “very easy to use and very useful“, to help you in your choices.
With little salt
Another important point, in front of the tomato sauce aisles: “You have to be careful with your salt intake. To do this, comparing products is an obligatory step,” she explains.
As a reminder, “The ingredients are always ranked in order of importance in the list. So, if salt appears in second, third or fourth position, run away, that means it is very salty!“, warns the expert.
The ideal? Let salt be at the very bottom of the list – or even better – let there be none.
Pay attention to the origin of the tomatoes!
“Avoid at all costs products imported from Spain or Portugal. Tomatoes grown in these countries are full of pesticides! Conversely, tomatoes from Italy are among the best on the market, in terms of taste but also quality. Finally, choose organic tomato sauces“.
“All ingredients that do not exist in your cupboard, type E (E330, E322, etc.) should be avoided. In front of the sauce aisle, choose the one that displays the shortest list of ingredients possible and without any preservatives. Pasteurization alone is sufficient, since it allows the product to be preserved for two years.“, explains the dietitian.
Never use sauce made from tomato paste
“Tomato paste should be avoided because of its high sugar content. It’s an industrial product that has no place in tomato sauce.“, assures Alexandra Murcier.
NO to diets, YES to WW!
An oil rich in omega 6
Finally, as for the oils used in tomato sauces (if there are any), choose the one “rich in rapeseed oil, because it is rich in omega 6, which are excellent anti-inflammatories“, concludes the expert.