From the pasta salad with more fat than a Burger King Whopper, to the salad sandwich with more calories than a Pizza Express pizza, new Which? research has revealed that many of the snacks we buy on the high street could be putting us on the highway to poor health.
We assessed the nutritional content of a variety of foods and drinks that people typically grab on the go from supermarkets, coffee shops and cafés. We found that some shop-bought salads and sandwiches are packed with so much fat, sugar, calories or salt, that sometimes you’d be better off choosing a burger or a pizza instead.
Which? members can read the full article ‘Fast food foes’ in the May issue of Which? magazine, but for a sneak peek at some of the snacks we name and shame, look through our gallery below.
If you’re not yet a Which? member, you can sign up to Which? to receive the magazine and full access to our website.
Asda’s Piri Piri Chicken Pasta Salad (290g) contains two thirds of an adult’s recommended daily fat intake (46.5g) and has more fat than a Burger King Bacon and Cheese Whopper. The packaging recommends the pot contains three servings, but we think it’s more likely that someone would eat this at lunch by themselves.
A Tomato and Basil Chicken Pasta (330g) from Morrisons contains seven servings but one person could easily eat this for lunch and would consume more calories (683) and fat (38.6g) than a Burger King Chicken Royale with Cheese burger (648 calories, 37.2g fat).
Meanwhile the Chicken and Smoked Bacon Salad on Soft Multigrain Farmhouse Bread from Marks & Spencer’s contains 694 calories and 37.1 gram of fat, which is more than a Pizza Express Classic Margherita pizza (683 calories, 22.5g fat).
Sugar filled sandwiches
Caffè Nero’s Brie and Bacon Panini has more calories (624) than a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese (518 calories). The bacon and brie make the Panini high in fat (24.1g), saturates (12g) and salt (3.2g), while caramelised onions add to the sugar content (15.8g).
Pret’s Posh Cheddar and Pickle on Artisan contains 17.6g of sugar and Gregg’s Mexican chicken baguette contains 15g.
Our research shows how difficult it can be to make healthy choices when out and about.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘People will be surprised to find some foods that many of us perceive to be a healthier choice may not necessarily be so. We want all manufacturers to adopt traffic light nutrition labelling and restaurants to display information about calorie content of food, so consumers can see exactly what products contain.’