A row of jarred Dolmio pasta sauces.

Image: A row of Dolmio pasta sauces, owned by Mars Food | Huffington Post

Mars Food will tell its customers to back off on its pasta sauces a bit, suggesting that some of those tasty sauces and its macaroni and cheese only be consumed once a week because of their high levels of salt, sugar, and fat. The company plans to split its foods into ones that are okay to eat every day and those that should be eaten more sparingly. These brands include Dolmio’s pasta paraphernalia and Uncle Ben’s rice.

Mars joins a number of other private companies that are pushing to help people get their diets back on track for healthier eating. Large food companies are receiving sharper and sharper backlash about what they offer the public as nutrition and eating well consume more space in the public sphere. Therefore, products that contain too much tasty stuff (sigh) will be marked as such and come with advice about how often to eat it. This information won’t be put on the sweets and treats that Mars makes, however, like M&Ms or Snickers.

Products that have very high levels of salt, sugar, or fat—which includes lasagna meal kits and sauces—will not come with an “occasional” recommendation for consumption, while other products will be considered okay for “everyday” use. Most of Mars’ UK products are fine for every day, but only 70 percent of its tomato sauces fall into that category. Unfortunately.

Mars Food also hopes to reduce the amount of sodium present in most of its items by 20 percent by 2021, and to reduce the amount of added sugar in other products by 2018. Mars will also use more vegetables and more whole grains in its products.

“We want to help our consumers understand the difference between ‘everyday’ and ‘occasional’ products within a balanced diet,” said Fiona Dawson, global president of Mars Food, Drinks, and Multisales. Consumers should see the new guidelines on Mars’ website over the next several months.