Health alert over hidden high sugar levels in vegan ready meals
Health alert over hidden high sugar levels in vegan ready meals as campaign group warns of similar issue in restaurants
Vegan ready meals may appear more healthy but activists warn that they can contain more than seven times as much sugar as meat-based alternatives.
Action on Sugar is urging shoppers to double check as not all vegan and vegetarian options contain less sugar, salt and fat.
It highlighted a butternut almond and pecan nut roast from the Plant Kitchen range at Marks & Spencer which has 7.7g of sugar per 100g of weight.
This compared to 1.1g for M&S‘s roast beef Yorkshire pudding meal.
The Plant Kitchen version of spaghetti Bolognese has 3.6g of sugar per 100g versus 2.3g in the standard meat option.
It highlighted a butternut almond and pecan nut roast from the Plant Kitchen range at Marks & Spencer which has 7.7g of sugar per 100g of weight
Action on Sugar also found that vegan food at leading restaurant and fast-food chains can also be high in sugar and salt, including pizzas, chilli, burgers and pies.
M&S said on-pack labelling helps ‘customers make healthier food choices’ and it is ‘continually improving’ products.
Nutritionist Zoe Davies, of Action on Sugar, said products labelled ‘vegan’ and ‘plant based’ are not necessarily healthy, while there is research to suggest that many people wrongly believe they are.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘Vegans should not be tempted into eating any foods which are high in fat, sugar and salt.’
M&S said: ‘Our Plant Kitchen range offers customers more opportunities to incorporate plant-based foods as part of a balanced diet.
‘At M&S, we offer a broad range of products and help customers make healthier food choices through on-pack labelling and our Eat Well range.
‘We are continually improving our products, with an active plan of reformulation that is helping reduce salt and saturated fat.’