News Friday October 5, 2012

'Value' own-brand meals are healthier than 'luxury' ones

Supermarket 'luxury' meals, widely thought to be superior to cheaper supermarket own-brand product, reportedly have higher levels of saturated fat than cheaper alternatives.

The study conducted by researchers from Glasgow University looked at ready-meals from some of the country’s largest supermarkets and discovered that some 'luxury' meals had extremely high levels of saturated fat, in some cases containing more than the guideline recommended daily amount (GDA) that an adult should be consuming. Analysis revealed that some meals had more than a 100% of the recommended levels of saturated fat.

Mike Lean from the University of Glasgow said that people may be mislead by brands labelled as 'luxury', assuming they are nutritionally more superior, although this isn’t always the case. Some 'luxury' meals also had a significantly higher salt content than others.

Lean believes that more should be done regarding the labelling of these products to ensure that people are aware of their high saturated fat and salt content, however supermarkets like Tesco argue that they offer enough of a varied option to suit the pockets and tastes of all of their customers. Sainsbury’s reportedly said that enough is being done to point out the fat and salt content of their products with the help of traffic light labelling. While Morison’s and Asda also made it clear that their 'luxury' ranges are more ‘indulgent’ than some of their other brands.

Regularly consuming meals with a high salt and saturated fat content has largely been associated with obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can all lead to serious cardiovascular complications.

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