Last week saw the humble baked beans featured on our Chewsday Review and they got top marks from me. This week I thought we'd do another pantry staple- tinned spaghetti. I've chosen the Heinz salt reduced variety. How does this stack up in the nutritional stakes? Let's see...
🔹Spaghetti (53%), tomato sauce (47%) [tomatoes, sugar, salt, cheese, food acid (citric acid)]
🔹Common allergens include: milk/dairy, gluten/wheat
🔹Fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt content all meet healthy guidelines. Sodium content is 30% less than regular tinned spaghetti.
🔹Convenient, and keeps well in the pantry.
🔹Less than half of the protein content of baked beans. Lots of people serve tinned spaghetti on toast or in a Jaffle, meaning that the meal provides plenty of carbohydrate but not enough protein
🔹Fibre isn't listed on the nutritional panel like it is with baked beans, which suggests a pretty minimal fibre content.
🔹"1 of your 5+ a day" Each can contains the equivalent of a whole tomato so this is technically true (if you eat a whole tin!) Not quite the same as the 4 serves of vegetables in each tin of baked beans though.
🔹"No artificial colours or flavours" ✔️
🔹"100% natural pasta" Has anyone ever eaten/heard of unnatural pasta??
🔹From a nutritional point of view, tinned spaghetti doesn't really compare well to tinned baked beans. Where baked beans on toast provides a pretty complete meal in itself (carbs, protein, veg, some fat), the spaghetti is really only one part of a meal. Just so I'm clear- there's nothing particularly 'undesirable' about this product, nor is it the best choice out there.
🔹I'd recommend Heinz no added salt baked beans over the tinned spaghetti. I'd also suggest that regular spaghetti with a vegetable or bolognaise style sauce would be a better option overall.
About Mealtime Building Blocks
Dr Kyla Smith is a Paediatric Dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. She has a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla on her website and sign up for her newsletter, and her Facebook page or on her Instagram page. You can also email her.