Sugar secrets...

November 3, 2017


In honour of sugar awareness week we’ve decided to take a look at the sugar content of a classic lunch time favourite. The meal deal.


It’s lunch time. You’re hungry. You fancy yourself a little meal deal from your local supermarket. But little did you know that you could actually be consuming 4 full day’s worth of sugar in this one meal!


Let’s look at some examples:

(taken from

  • Tesco Smokehouse Pulled Chicken with Mesquite Style Sauce with a Monster Energy 500ml drink and Mars Duo – 30 teaspoons sugar, that’s the same amount of sugar found in approximately 16 double chocolate mini muffins.

  • Morrisons’ Sweet Chilli Chicken Wrap with Relentless Passion Punch Energy 500ml drink and Millionaire Shortbread – 28 teaspoons of sugar and 1048 kcal.


  • Co-op Meal Pot Blackbean Pulled Beef & Noodle with Rockstar Blueberry Pomegranate Acai energy 500ml drink and Rocky Road Bar – 28 teaspoons of sugar and 855 kcal.


The fact is that supermarkets are failing to promote healthy choices to their customers and some, such as WHSmith, don’t even have the option of fresh fruit as part of their meal deals.


It is therefore down to us to make the conscious decision to choose healthier options when buying our mid-day meal.


Action on Sugar gives some handy tips for eating smart:

  •  Keep an eye on the traffic light colours found on the front of packaging – pick products that are amber, or ideally green, for sugar, salt and saturated fat.

  • Reach for fruit or veg as the snack option in meal deals

  • Avoid sugar drinks and choose water or smaller portions of fruit juice/smoothies

  • Use the SugarSwitch filter in the FoodSwitch UK app to find alternatives that are better for you

    • When eating out, ask your server how much sugar is in your food. If the food is made in-house and fresh they should be able to give you an honest answer.

We all know that sugar is bad for us; it’s the no. 1 cause of obesity and increases the risk of a huge range of health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Excess consumption of sugars is also associated with increased energy (calorie) intake (compared to other sources of energy). The NHS states that almost 60% of women and 70% of men are above a healthy weight and there is strong evidence that being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing 11 different types of cancer, according to the World Cancer Research Fund.


So next time you find yourself in a supermarket with an empty tummy, think twice about that greasy bacon butty, hyperactive fizzy drink and slab of cake, and reach for something that will do your body and your mind some good.



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