Supermarket salads with more calories than a Big Mac

Many contain unhealthy levels of fat

Some supposedly ‘healthy’ supermarket salads contain more fat and calories than a Big Mac and fries.

Which?, who conducted the research, said its findings emphasise the need for clearer nutrition labelling on food packaging.

While a Big Mac and medium fries will provide you with 820 calories and 40g of fat, the Smedleys Atlantic prawn marie rose salad, from Morrisons, contains 855 calories and 66.3g of fat. The salad’s fat level is 70 per cent of the recommended daily amount for a man.

Eating too much fat can increase the likelihood of clogged arteries and heart disease, and has been shown to raise the risk of cancer.

A Big Mac on its own contains 490 calories and 24g of fat. Asda’s chicken caesar pasta salad has 683 calories, while the fat content is 41.3g – almost as much fat as seven Cadbury’s Creme Eggs.

Mayonnaise or creamy sauces were often the reason many of the salads were so unhealthy. Around 80 per cent of mayonnaise is fat, while a tablespoon of it contains around 12g of fat and 110 calories.

Consumers are also being warned about packaging that tries to disguise the real fat content. At a glance, Tesco’s tuna layered salad would appear to contain 275 calories and 20.5g fat – but this is for half the pack.

Which? said the lack of a standard ‘traffic light’ label system makes it difficult for consumers easily to see whether a product is high in fat, calories, sugar or salt.

Which? editor Martyn Hocking said: ‘If you thought your high street salad was healthy, you could be in for a surprise. This latest research backs up what we’ve been saying for ages – a clear, consistent labelling scheme is important to help people to spot how much fat, sugar and salt is in the food they’re buying.’

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