Consumer Reports tests marinara sauce for taste, nutrition

SAN ANTONIO – If you don’t have time to make marinara sauce like grandma did, Consumer Reports says you can get homemade taste in a jar. The publication tested 35 marinara-style tomato sauces for taste and nutrition.

Tomato sauce can be good for you because tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and other illnesses. Consumer Reports also found some sauces that aren’t so healthy.

Half the sauces tested were salt bombs with close to 500 milligrams or more of sodium in a half-cup serving. Those included Prego Traditional Sauce, Mezzetta Napa Valley Homemade Tomato & Sweet Basil and Hunt’s Traditional.

In Consumer Reports tests, two low-sodium sauces got excellent scores for nutrition and very good scores for taste. Tasters said The Silver Palate Low Sodium Marinara has big tomato and garlic flavor, with notes of onion, fresh basil and olive oil.

Tasters said Victoria Low Sodium Marinara is mildly seasoned with fresh basil, olive oil, onion and a hint of garlic. It was one of the least salty-tasting.

Consumer Reports also says the lower-scoring sauces were typically made with tomato puree, rather than whole peeled tomatoes, as well as dehydrated spices rather than fresh. So it’s worth checking the labels when you shop.

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