Study: Wraps can contain up to 1,000 calories

Some lunch wraps can contain up to 1,000 calories — the equivalent of a kebab, two McDonald’s Big Macs, or a 12in medium pizza — it has been revealed.

Store-bought wraps were shown to have extremely high levels of fat and salt. In some cases, wraps contained 72% of a person’s daily recommended intake of salt.

The stark revelations were contained in a new report by Safefood. The group advised consumers to be mindful of what they have for lunch and choose smaller portion sizes where possible. Almost 240 wraps from 80 outlets nationwide were examined by the organisation as part of the ‘What’s in your Favourite Wraps?’ report.

Overall, portion size was extremely varied from store to store. The biggest portions were almost two and a half times larger than the smallest ones.

Study: Wraps can contain up to 1,000 calories

Of the chicken tikka and salad wraps surveyed, calorie content ranged from 267 to a whopping 977.

A female adult should take in roughly 2,000 calories a day to maintain their weight, while an adult male should consume 2,500 calories each day to stay healthy.

The total fat content of the wraps tested ranged from 6g to 59g. The top three most popular fillings were chicken and salad, chicken caesar salad, and chicken tikka and salad.

These varieties all contained high levels of salt — 49% of an adult’s recommended daily amount, 54% of the recommended amount, and 72%, respectively.

“We know from research that one in three people believe wraps to be a healthier choice than a lunchtime sandwich but, in reality, the average tortilla wrap on its own contains 149 calories, almost as much as two slices of bread which contains 158 calories,” said Marian Faughnan, chief specialist in nutrition at Safefood.

“With people busy and looking for a healthier lunch option, choosing a pre-prepared wrap is understandable. However, our report shows that eating a large chicken tikka wrap with soft drink and a bag of crisps could mean almost 1,400 calories are eaten just at lunchtime alone.”

Dr Faughnan said wraps and sandwiches can be healthy options, however, if customers choose smaller portion sizes and fillings such as lean meat or fish with plenty of salad and vegetables.

“The advice for consumers is the same whether they’re ordering a wrap or a sandwich,” said Dr Faughnan. “If you want a healthier option, choose smaller portion sizes and go for grilled chicken instead of coated or deep-fried varieties.

“Cutting back on salty meats and sauces can also help, as can choosing wholegrain varieties to boost your fibre and adding more salad and vegetables.”

Log onto www.safefood.eu for more information or to download the full Safefood report.


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