A study from the University of Glasgow has warned that supermarkets ‘luxury’ ready meals can contain twice as much fat and salt than the cheaper, basic versions.
The study, published in Trends in Food Science and technology, found often a luxury ready meal can contain half the recommended daily allowance of salt (6g).
For example, Tesco’s ‘finest’ cottage pie ready meal has twice as much salt as its equivalent in the ‘value’ range, containing 52% of our RDA.
And Asda’s budget ‘smart price’ macaroni cheese contains 48% of RDA of saturated fat, already an excessive amount but dwarfed by the 114% for the ‘extra special’ version!
Mike Lean, chair of human nutrition at the university, said: “Labelling food as ‘extra special’ or ‘finest’ can be misleading for consumers who might expect health benefits at a higher price point.”
The easiest way to avoid the high levels of salt, sugar and fat in these ready meals if to resist them completely and cook from scratch instead.
That way you can keep an eye on what is going into the food and keep salt levels down by adding a reduced sodium alternative like LoSalt.