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Sugar & Salt Shocker: Unhealthiest Food on the High-Street Revealed for 2020 infographic

07 / 01 / 20

Sugar & Salt Shocker: Unhealthiest Food on the High-Street Revealed for 2020


Rebecca Moss

2 minute read

Vegan consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to high-street fast food options, but which ones top the list for fat, sugar and salt?

Research from the University of Oxford has estimated a staggering 350,000 people will take part in Veganuary this year, up from 250,000 in 2019. But how nutritious are high-street vegan fast food offerings compared to their non-vegan counterparts?

Comparing 2020’s Veganuary Offerings  

Use our interactive table to filter by Calories, Fat, Salt and Sugar.

  • Vegan fast food contains 50% more sugar (66g vs 42g) and 40% more salt (10.43g vs 14.81g) than the non-vegan equivalents from the same chain
  • The 6” Subway Meatless Marinara tops the list with 19.3g of sugar and 3.5 grams of salt compared to the equivalent non-vegan version with 13.5g sugar and 13.5g sugar 1.9g salt 
  • McDonald’s vegan dippers are the best savoury option, with just 1.1g of salt and 2.3g sugar

Ding! Supermarket Ready Meals with the Most Salt Revealed

Taking the most-Googled supermarket ready meals, we’ve analysed just how much salt each of them contain. We looked at the nutritional differences between the premium and basic ready meals available in Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s to find the saltiest supermarket ready meals, overall.

The UK’s 10 Most Popular Ready Meals, Ranked

  1. Shepherds Pie
  2. Sausage and Mash
  3. Spaghetti Bolognese
  4. Fish Pie
  5. Paella
  6. Macaroni Cheese
  7. Lasagne
  8. Hot Pot (lamb)
  9. Chicken Korma
  10. Carbonara

If you’re planning on tucking into Sausage and Mash, you should put the salt shaker away; Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Sausage and Mash contains almost 3g of salt. That’s around half of the NHS recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 6g.     

Tesco topped the list as their ready meals contained the most salt overall (42.1g), but did we find a difference in salt content between the premium and basic versions of the same dish?

On average, there was 8% less salt in the basic branded ready meals, when compared with the premium dishes. 

Premium vs Basic – which contains the most salt?

On average, there was eight per cent less salt in the basic branded ready meals, when compared with the premium dishes.

A 200g tube of Original flavour Pringles contains 2.6g of salt, which is less than the four worst offenders sold in Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Asda had the largest percentage difference between their basic branded ready meals and the premium ‘Extra Special’ range – the luxe range had at least 10% more salt than their basic range equivalents. 

And the award for the worst ready meal overall goes to…

Tesco Finest Sausage and Mash, which contained the most calories (838) and fat (57.3g). According to the NHS guidelines, this ready meal would account for 41.90% of the average adult woman’s daily calorie quota and 33.5% for adult men. 


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