Britain's unhealthiest mince pies REVEALED

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It’s the time of year when pastry-wrapped festive treats filled with dried fruit and spices hit the shelves.

Crumble-topped, puff pastry and vegan versions are just some of the options of mince pies available at the UK’s biggest supermarkets, such as Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

But the Christmas-favourites can contain more calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger and as much sugar as a can of Coca-Cola, MailOnline has found.

Experts warned Britons against tucking into the treats regularly as they contain ‘a whopping amount of sugar which is not good for our waistlines or our oral health’.

Crumble-topped, puff pastry and vegan versions are just some of the options of mince pies available at the UK's biggest supermarkets, such as Asda, Sainsbury's and Waitrose. But the Christmas-favourites can contain more calories than a McDonald's cheeseburger and as much sugar as a cane of Coca-Cola, MailOnline has found

Crumble-topped, puff pastry and vegan versions are just some of the options of mince pies available at the UK’s biggest supermarkets, such as Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. But the Christmas-favourites can contain more calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger and as much sugar as a cane of Coca-Cola, MailOnline has found

WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE? 

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count

• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain

• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts

• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day

• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide  

MailOnline looked at the nutritional content of around 70 mince pies sold at the likes of Morrisons, M&S and Aldi and compared the most calorie-packed option at each.

Asda’s Extra Special Crumble Top Mince Pies, made with three-month matured mincemeat and encased in an orange zest pastry, had the most calories overall — a whopping 353 per serving, along with 35g of sugar. Some of this will be natural sugar.

This is more calories than a McDonald’s Cheeseburger (298) and as much sugar as a can of Coca-Cola (35g).

The Free From Mince Pies available at Waitrose — which are full of vine fruit and cranberry mincemeat and made without milk and gluten — are the next-worst offender. 

They contain 314 calories and 30.5g of sugar.

This means the snack accounts for around 16 per cent of a woman’s recommended 2,000 calories per day and 13 per cent of a man’s 2,500 calories. 

And it has the equivalent of seven teaspoons of sugar. Eating too much sugar over time can lead to weight gain and tooth decay, regardless of whether added or not.

Sainsbury’s Shortcrust Mince Pies — made with shortcrust pastry and sprinkled with sugar — contain 284 calories per pie and 16.2g of sugar.

This is more calories but around half the sugar content of Mars bar (228 calories and 31g sugar). 

The Lattice Top Puff Pastry Mince Pies — filled with spiced currants and sultanas — are packed with 254 calories and 17.5g of sugar.

A large double chocolate cookie would have less of an effect on the waistline — with 194 calories and 12.8g of sugar per snack.

A similar option available at Morrisons — the shop’s Lattice Mince Pies — have 244 calories and 18.7g of sugar.

The nutritional content is similar to a Snickers bar, which has 213 calories and 19g of sugar.

A vegan option from M&S — its Plant Kitchen Lattice Topped Mince Pies — are the most calorie-packed option and its store.

They have 241 calories and 25.8g of sugar per serving — more than a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut (200 calories, 12.5g sugar).

Aldi’s highest-calorie mince pie is lower than the other six supermarkets.

Its Holly Lane Deep Filled Mince Pies contains 235 calories per portion, along with 14.7g of sugar.

This option has the same calorie content as a small portion of McDonald’s fries (237) and as many calories as three McVitie’s Chocolate Digestives.

Dr Linda Greenwall, a dentist in north London and founder of the Dental Wellness Trust, told MailOnline that the items contain ‘a whopping amount of sugar which is not good for our waistlines or our oral health’.

She said: ‘Considering hundreds of children are in UK hospitals having rotten teeth pulled out because of decay caused by sugary foods and drinks — all of which is entirely preventable — this data is rather worrying. 

‘We need to see sweeping changes to food marketing and product formulation along with a clearer steer on portion control.’

Dr Duane Mellor, a dietitian from Aston Medical School in Birmingham, told MailOnline that people should not be surprised that mince pies are high in calories, fat and sugar. 

‘They contain sweetened dried fruit wrapped in delicious sweetened buttery pastry,’ he noted.

Dr Mellor said that those seeking to ‘enjoy the odd mince pie’ without sending their daily calorie and sugar intake soaring could opt for the mini options of the treat, which contain as little as a third of the calories of the full-sized option.

He added: ‘On the other hand, the luxury options which come in packs of 4 with fancy toppings such as crumble can contain even more sugar, with some containing about 7 teaspoons of sugar in an individual pie. 

‘So, enjoy the occasional mince pie, maybe not every day and every week through December, and remember size matters.’

Hattie Burt, policy and communications officer at campaign group Action on Sugar, told MailOnline that mince pies are ‘relentlessly’ advertised and promoted ‘well before the Christmas period has even begun’.

She said the products reinforce the need to obesity policies, including a mandatory sugar reduction programme to encourage them to make product healthier.

It comes after a report yesterday revealed that a Government target for food manufacturers to cut sugar content by a fifth has been an ‘abject failure’.

The controversial Childhood Obesity Plan called on companies to cut sugar in products such as breakfast cereals, cakes and yoghurts by 20 per cent by 2020.

But the scheme, which was voluntary, has seen sugar cut by just 3.5 per cent.

In response, campaigners are calling for a ‘sugar tax’ on snack foods like chocolate bars and sweets. 

Ms Burt said: ‘The disappointing findings outlined in the Government’s sugar reduction report yesterday makes it abundantly clear that a voluntary reformulation approach simply does not work.’ 

Nurtritional content of supermarket mince pies 
Product Calories Sugar Salt Price
TESCO
Tesco Finest Mini Tart 80 7.1 0.02 £3.00
Tesco Mince Pies 209 13.7 0.14 £0.99
Tesco Finest Crumble Topped Mince Pies 174 14.6 0.13 £2.25
Mr Kipling Snowflake Mince Pies 250 17.3 0.2 £1.85
Tesco Iced Topped Mince Pies 221 21.4 0.03 £1.75
Tesco Finest Chocolate Orange Crumble Topped Mince Pies 183 16.1 0.07 £2.25
Tesco Plant Chef Mince Pies 220 15.6 0.07 £1.50
Tesco Lattice Top Puff Pastry Mince Pies 254 17.5 0.18 £1.25
Tesco Puff Pastry Mince Pie 254 17.5 0.18 £1.25
Tesco Finest Spiced Rum Mince Pies 249 23.1 0.12 £2.25
Tesco Free From Mini Mince Pies 121 10.8 0.06 £2.25
ASDA
The BAKERY at ASDA Mince Pies 212 15 0.15 £1.25
ASDA Extra Special Luxury Mince Pies 235 23 0.17 £2.25
The BAKERY at ASDA Shallow Mince Pies 263 17 0.01 £1.50
ASDA Extra Special Crumble Top Mince Pies 353 35 0.08 £2.50
ASDA Free From Mince Pies 207 17 0.1 £1.80
WAITROSE
Waitrose Christmas All Butter Mince Pies 271 26.1 0.12 £2.25
No.1 Brown Butter Mince Pies with Cognac 275 26.7 0.12 £3.50
Waitrose Christmas Mini All Butter Mince Pies 127 10.6 0.05 £3.00
Waitrose Christmas Cherry & Almond Mince Pies 245 16 0.17 £2.75
Waitrose Christmas Vegan Mince Pies 210 13.6 0.18 £3.00
Duchy Organic All Butter Mince Pies 217 20 0.16 £2.75
Essential Shortcrust Mince Pies 219 15.5 0.15 £1.25
Heston from Waitrose Spiced Mince Pies with a Lemon Twist 255 25.4 0.28 £3.50
Heston from Waitrose Pear & Fig MincePies in Cheese Pastry 225 9.7 0.24 £3.50
Waitrose Free From Mince Pies 216 17.1 0.09 £2.70
Waitrose Free From Mince Pies 314 30.5 0.14 £2.60
ALDI
Specially Selected Millionaire Mince Pies 208 14.9 0.08 £2.29
Specially Selected Rich & Buttery Frangipane Mince Pies 191 14 0.12 £2.29
Specially Selected Salted Caramel & Rum Mince Pies 175 18 0.02 £2.29
Specially Selected Maple And Pecan Tarts 184 13.1 0.03 £2.29
Specially Selected Chocolate And Orange Mini Mince Pies 92 6 0.04 £1.99
Specially Selected Salted Caramel Mini Mince Pies 110 7.2 0.05 £1.99
Holly Lane Deep Filled Mince Pies 235 14.7 0.06 £0.99
Specially Selected All Butter Mini Mince Pies 111 8.2 0.02 £1.99
Specially Selected Frangipane Mini Mince Pies 101 7 0.04 £1.99
Specially Selected All Butter Classic Mince Pies 228 18.4 0.12 £1.49
MORRISONS
Morrisons The Best Deep Filled Mince Pies 234 19.8 0.05 £2.25
Morrisons Lattice Mince Pies 244 18.7 0.17 £1.25
Morrisons The Best Mini Mince Pies 127 9.2 N/A £2.25
Morrisons The Best Sticky Toffee Mince Pies 167 23.2 0.14 £2.25
Morrrisons The Best Billionaire Mince Pies 228 22 0.12 £2.25
Morrisons Mince Pies 225 14.8 0.14 £1.25
Morrisons Iced Mince Pies 215 22.1 0.03 £1.25
Morrisons Free From Mince Pies 211 17.4 0.1 £1.99
SAINSBURY’S
Sainsbury’s Mince Pies with All Butter Pastry, Taste the Difference 215 18.6 0.15 £1.75
Sainsbury’s Mince Pies 230 15.2 0.18 £1.25
Sainsbury’s Mini Mince Pies, Taste the Differenc 98 8.3 0.07 £1.75
Sainsburyâs Shortcrust Mince Pies 284 16.2 0.01 £1.25
Sainsbury’s Frangipane Mince Pies, Taste the Difference 205 13.9 0.15 £2.25
Sainsbury’s Free From Mince Pies 216 18.1 0.1 £1.75
Sainsbury’s Iced Topped Mince Pies 217 24.5 0.03 £1.70
Sainsbury’s Cherry Rum & Coconut Mince Pies, Taste the Difference 198 19 0.02 £2.25
Sainsbury’s Mini Ecclefechan Tarts & Frangipane Mince Pies, Taste the Difference x9 190g 92 6.3 0.05 £3.25
Sainsbury’s Free From Mini Mince Pies, Taste the Difference 117 9.7 0.05 £3.00
M&S
M&S Collection Mince Pies 215 19.9 0.14 £3.00
M&S Collection Mini Mince Pies 113 7.8 0.08 £3.00
M&S All Butter Mince Pies 219 22 0.13 £2.00
M&S Made Without Mince Pies 202 18.5 0.1 £3.00
M&S Lattice Topped Mince Pies 217 20.9 0.13 £2.00
M&S Iced Topped Mince Pies 215 25.9 0.07 £2.00
M&S Plant Kitchen Lattice Topped Mince Pies 241 25.8 0.09 £2.50

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