Sauces can make a meal delicious with loads of flavour. But proceed with caution. Depending on the sauce you choose, that flavour might be coming from sugars. That’s right- even the most savoury of sauces could include a lot of hidden sugars. These sugars impact not just the taste, but also your glucose.
Choose sauces wisely
Shop-bought soups, sauces, and bread products can often contain a surprising amount of added sugar, so it’s important to read and understand the food label. Most nutrition labels provide information on sugar per 100g. A product with 5g or less sugar per 100g is considered low sugar. (1)
In addition to the amount of sugar, check the ingredients for added sugars (like high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and cane sugar) as well as sweeteners that can be listed under many names (erythritol or xylitol). (2) Watch out for “low fat” or “fat-free” sauces as they may have added sugars to make up for their reduced fat content.
Make your own
Making your own sauces does not have to be hard or time consuming. They are fresher, tastier, and can be more nutrient dense as you have control of what you put in them. You may still want to add sugar, but you can choose to use it sparingly. Opt for more natural sources like fruit puree, dates, honey, or maple syrup.
Some easy-to-make sauces include tomato sauce, pesto, salsa, guacamole, and olive oil-based salad dressings.
DIY tomato sauce
The next time you need a tomato-based sauce, skip the ready-made stuff and make your own. Start with fresh or canned tomatoes, add in onions, garlic, peppers, herbs, and even red lentils to make it more nutritious and delicious.
Once you find a recipe you like, make a big batch and freeze some to have on hand for an easy meal another time.