If you think you’re making the healthier choice by eating a sandwich or salad, instead of a cheeseburger from McDonald’s, then think again.
Consumer watchdog Which? has just revealed that some sandwiches and salads that can be bought from high street coffee shops or supermarkets can contain more calories and fat than burgers and fries from fast food outlets.
The daily nutrient guidelines for an average adult man to maintain his current weight is 2500 calories while for a woman it is at 2000.
So effectively, if you’re not careful, you could be piling on the pounds by accidentally consuming a lot more calories than you think.
Here are the worst culprits, according to Which?.
1. Tesco’s Honey Mustard and Chicken Pasta (706 calories)
This tiny 300g pot of pasta packs a big punch in the calories department.
With a massive 706 calories and 35.5g fat – half your daily reference intake for fat – this meals means you can eat nearly three McDonald’s hamburgers (250 calories each) for the same calorific intake.
2. Marks & Spencer’s Chicken and Smoked Bacon Salad on Soft Multigrain Farmhouse Bread (694 calories)
This sandwich contains more calories (694 calories) and grams of fat (37.1g) gram of fat than a Pizza Express Classic Margherita pizza (683 calories, 22.5g fat).
That’s right. You can eat an entire pizza and it would be still less than eating a small sandwich.
3. Morrisons’ Tomato and Basil Chicken Pasta (683 calories)
If one person consumed this for lunch, it would have more calories than a Burger King Chicken Royale with Cheese (648 calories, 37.2g fat).
A 330g pack contains seven servings but one person could easily eat this for lunch. It has 683 calories and fat 38.6g of fat.
4. Asda’s Piri Piri Chicken Pasta Salad (650 calories)
The 290g packet claims to contain three servings but, as Which? says, “it’s more likely that someone would eat this at lunch by themselves.”
The packet contains two thirds of the recommended daily fat intake (46.5g) and has more fat than a Burger King Bacon and Cheese Whopper.
At 650 calories, it also has more calories than a Burger King Chicken Royale with Cheese.
5. Caffè Nero’s Brie and Bacon Panini (624 calories)
At 624 calories, it has more calories 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).
“People will be surprised to find some foods that many of us perceive to be a healthier choice are no better than a burger,” said Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd.
6. Gregg’s Mexican Chicken baguette (602 calories)
Greggs isn’t exactly famous for healthy lunchtime snacks and meals but with 15g sugar, 17g fat and 3.5g worth of salt the “double whammy of mayonnaise and sweet chilli sauce” pushes the calories way above a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese (518 calories).
7. M&S chicken, bacon and sweetcorn pasta salad (642 calories)
The colossal 642 calories worth of pasta salad is packed with 28.1g fat, 2.58g salt.
“The creamy mayonnaise dressing in this M&S pasta salad really pushes up the calories and fat content. The sweetcorn at least contributes to your five a day,” said Which?.
8. Pret Posh Cheddar and Pickle on Artisan (660 calories)
This vegetarian option may seem harmless enough but it not only has more calories than McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese (518 calories), is also has 17.6g sugar, 26.8g fat, 9.1g saturates and 2.8g salt.
“This has nearly half the daily saturated fat reference intake for an adult and contains more than three teaspoons of sugar,” said Which?
9. McDonalds Quarter Pounder with Cheese (518 calories)
Which? may have pointed out that some of Britain’s lunchtime meals may have more calories than McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese burger but the fat content is colossal.
According to nutritional information on McDonald’s website, it has 27g of fat, which is higher than the Pret baguette featured above.