Christmas dinner between slices of bread, pigs in blankets on buns and brie and cranberry bowls are just some of the options available at the likes of Tesco, Waitrose and Pret

Christmas specials sold as ‘meal deals’ at Tesco, Asda and Waitrose can contain up to 775 calories

It’s that time of year when festive sandwiches start to appear on the shelves of supermarkets and large cafes across the country.

Christmas dinner between slices of bread, pigs in blankets on rolls and brie and cranberry bowls are just some of the delicious options available at the likes of Tesco, Waitrose and Pret.

But while the festive season is often seen as a time for indulgence, some may be shocked to discover that these lunchtime treats are packed with more calories than a McDonald’s burger and fries.

Even some plant-based sandwiches contain more calories than a fast-food chain cheeseburger.

And that’s just for the sandwich. Almost every store offers a meal deal that encourages people to buy drinks and snacks that can contain hundreds of more calories.

Experts advised Brits to only go for the festive lunchtime sandwiches a couple of times between now and Christmas – and to choose the meal that has less sugar and salt.

Christmas dinner between slices of bread, pigs in blankets on buns and brie and cranberry bowls are just some of the options available at the likes of Tesco, Waitrose and Pret


Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, preferably whole grains, according to the NHS

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, preferably whole grains, according to the NHS

• Eat at least 5 servings of different fruits 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, preferably whole grains

• 30 grams of fiber a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 servings of fruit and vegetables, 2 wholemeal cakes, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and a large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy products or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks) by choosing lower-fat, lower-sugar options

• Eat some beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 servings of fish each week, one of which should be fatty)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume 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 80 festive-themed sandwiches sold at 12 supermarkets and coffee chains, including Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Starbucks, and compared the most calorie-dense option available in each store.

Asda’s Festive Feast Triple Wrap (£3.30) was found to be the most calorific, with a whopping 774 calories in three wraps, which are filled with turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing, mayonnaise and cranberry sauce.

This is more caloric than a McDonald’s Big Mac and small fries (730 calories).

Pret’s Christmas Lunch Baguette (£4.75) is the second worst offender with 702 calories in the sandwich, which is filled with turkey, cranberry sauce, pork filling and crispy onions.

For context, this accounts for about 40 percent of a woman’s recommended 2,000 calories per day and 30 percent of a man’s 2,500 calories.

A specially selected Turkey & Pigs in Bloomer at Aldi (£2.49) contains 598 calories. This is more than two McDonald’s Cheeseburgers (298 calories each).

Costa’s Vegan Pigs and Blankets Panini (£4.75) has 571 calories – as much as around three mince pies.

In the Pigs Under Blanket Roll sold at Starbucks, there are 545 calories – the equivalent of two Kit Kat Chunky bars and a can of Coca Cola.

Tesco’s Finest Smoked Turkey Club Sandwich (£3.25) is packed with 543 calories – about as much as four packets of Walker’s Ready Salted Crisps.

A Pigs Under Blankets Tostati Melt at Caffe Nero (£4.50) has 529 calories. This is more than six McVitie’s Chocolate Digestives.

The Christmas Triple sold at Boots (£3.35), which contains three different sandwiches – turkey, ham and cheese, has 520 calories. This is more than a KFC chicken stick and fries (445).

At Waitrose, the highest-calorie option is its Christmas Pigs Under Blankets sandwich (£3.50), which has 509 calories. This is equivalent to a small vanilla milkshake and brownie from McDonald’s.

In addition to being loaded with calories, some were full of salt. Adults are advised to stick to less than 6g per day to avoid high blood pressure while children, depending on their age, are advised to eat more than 2g.

But one option at Pret – its Christmas lunch baguette (£4.75) – had 3.05g per portion.

Meanwhile, Costa’s Vegan Pigs and Blankets Panini had 2.7g – despite possibly being perceived as healthier, as it is meat-free.

And while the lunch treats are seen as a tasty option, some had almost twice as much sugar as sweet snacks.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Ultimate Christmas Dinner Feast (£4.50) had 23.6g of sugar. By comparison, a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donut has 12.6g.

Eating too much sugar over time can lead to weight gain and tooth decay.

At the other end of the scale, the festive smoked salmon and soft cheese sandwich at Waitrose (£4.50) has just 325 calories, while a Shapers Turkey, Cranberry and Stuffing option at Boots (£3) has 337.

Dr Duane Mellor, a dietitian from Aston Medical School in Birmingham, told MailOnline that although the sandwiches will be on sale for more than a month until December 25, they should only be enjoyed “once or maybe twice”, as a Christmas dinner.

He advised people to look at what’s in the sandwich – as those with multiple filling options “tend to add extra fat, salt and sugar”.

“Some people may be surprised that up to six teaspoons of sugar can be in a Christmas sandwich,” he said.

“And just because it’s plant-based doesn’t mean it’s healthy because some of these can contain three and a half teaspoons of sugar,” Dr Mellor added.

Sheena Bhageerutty, assistant nutritionist at Action on Salt and Action on Sugar, told MailOnline: ‘With Christmas fast approaching, festive foods are filling supermarket shelves.

“During these festivities, we often forget to consider the high salt, sugar and calorie content of foods, such as these festive sandwiches; especially when you consider that many children may be eating these products.

“One of these sandwiches contains almost six teaspoons of sugar and another contains almost half of an adult’s recommended daily intake of salt in just one meal.

“This reinforces the critical need for food manufacturers to be held accountable and transparent with us so we can make informed healthier food options.”

Dr Linda Greenwall, a dentist and founder of the Dental Wellness Trust, told MailOnline: ‘These findings are startling, particularly given that some of the sandwiches analyzed are likely to contain more calories, fat, sugar and salt than some fast food meals .

“Also, people may be surprised to learn that a sandwich filling can contain an outrageous amount of sugars, which is not only bad for our general health, but also our dental health.”

The nutritional content of festive sandwiches
calories sugar salt- Award
Finest smoked turkey club sandwich 543 15 2.02 £3.25
Gluten-free turkey & filling sandwich 348 1.7 1.33 £3.00
Brie & cranberry sandwich 387 6.8 1.17 £2.75
Turkey & accessories sandwich 469 7.5 1.82 £3.00
Pigs under blankets subroll 512 8.8 1.63 £2.75
Turkey, stuffing & cranberry sub 446 8.4 1.7 £2.75
Turkey rejection wrap 543 3.1 1.7 £2.75
Smoked ham and wensleydale sandwich 415 9.5 1.7 £2.75
Plant Chef root green & chestnut wrap 383 14 1.1 £2.75
Yule hog wrap 476 9.8 1.2 £2.75
Festive party sandwich 555 13 2.3 £3.00
Festive Holiday Triple Wrap 774 16 2.6 £3.30
Boxing day sandwich 406 13 1.6 £2.50
Brie and cranberry sandwich 470 9.9 1.7 £2.50
Plant Pioneers No pigs under blankets Sandwich 436 10.4 1.96 £2.95
By Sainsbury’s Boxing Day Wrap 442 8.8 1.18 £2.95
Taste the difference hot smoked salmon sandwich 493 5.4 2.1 £4.25
Taste the Difference Ultimate Christmas Dinner Party 522 23.6 2 £4.50
Vegan Boxing Day Wrap 442 8.8 1.18 £2.95
Brie & Cranberry Sandwich 431 3.5 1.26 £2.95
Salmon, Dill & Cream Cheese Sandwich 382 4.7 1.96 £2.95
Monday Veggie Curry Wrap 442 8.8 1.18 £2.95
Taste the difference Festive Ploughman’s 518 20.4 1.42 £2.95
Taste the difference Prawn cocktail sandwich 427 4.4 2.51 £3.25
Gluten-free turkey party sandwich 455 6 1.68 £3.00
Pigs Under Blankets Sandwich 468 9.3 1.67 £2.95
Turkey party 512 7.7 1.93 £2.40
Christmas turkey, stuffing & bacon sandwich 496 10.3 2.37 £4.00
Smoked salmon & soft cheese sandwich 325 4.5 1.93 £4.50
Julbrie, cranberries with spinach 426 9.6 1.44 £3.00
Christmas pigs under blankets 509 10 2.55 £3.50
Roast chicken and Christmas salad 410 8.8 1.96 N/A
Smoked salmon and cream cheese 448 4.3 2.48 N/A
Brie and cranberries 490 11.7 1.67 N/A
Gluten-free turkey party sandwich 460 10.3 2.31 N/A
Naughty and spicy turkey party roll 466 12.4 2.5 £4.25
No turkey party 443 12.5 1.41 £3.50
Turkey party sandwich 511 8.5 g 1.99g £1.99
Turkey Feast Wrap 489 6.5 g 1.82g £2.19
Turkey and Stuffing Toastie 494 9.0 g 2.02g £1.75
Pigs Under Cheesy Blankets Sub Roll 661 17.2g 2.25 g £2.49
Brie & Spiced Cranberry Chutney Sandwich 479 8.5 g 1.44g £1.99
Vegan party sandwich 457 16.2g 1.39 g £1.79
Specially selected turkeys & pigs under blankets Bloomer 598 18.0 g 2.68g £2.49
Smoked salmon & soft cheese sandwich 422 5.5 g 2.20 g £1.90
Monday Curry Wrap 339 7.2 0.86 £2.75
Pigs Under the Blankets 438 9.2 1.52 £2.75
Morrisons Turkey Lunch Sandwich 437 7.5 2 £2.80
Vegan party sandwich 365 11.7 1.11 £2.75
Festive baguette 566 8 2.54 £2.50
Cheese board sandwich 451 10.9 1.58 £2.75
Brie & cranberry sandwich 394 8.7 1.29 £2.75
Pigs under blankets 419 11 1.94 £3.15
Turkey party 416 9.1 1.71 £3.15
Christmas triple 520 15 1.99 £3.35
Shapers turkey, cranberry and stuffing 337 9.1 1.36 £3.00
Vegan no turkey party 360 10 1.86 £3.00
Coffee Nero
Turkey Feast Focaccia 512 11.5 2.15 £5.25
Pigs under blankets Tostati Melted 529 14.1 2.02 £4.50
Vegan Festive Feast Panini 497 9.6 1.8 £4.85
Costa British Turkey Fest 434 7.3 1.4
Turkey and Stuffing Toastie 443 7 1.7
Brie and Cranberry Toastie 368 11 1 £3.45
Brie, Maple Bacon & Cranberry Stone Baked Panini 476 12 1.2
Vegan Pigs and Blankets Panini 571 8.1 2.7 £4.75
Festive Holiday Panini 471 6.4 1.92 £4.89
Brie and Cran-glad Focaccia 445 6.8 1.42 £4.89
Tue’s The Season Turkey Sandwich 503 5.7 1.65 £4.19
Pigs under felt roll 545 6.3 2.36 £4.89
Christmas lunch baguette 702 14.60 3.05 £4.75
Festive Falafel & Squash 527 21.10 1.73 £5.25
Pret’s Christmas lunch 549 3 p.m 2.13 £5.95
Beet Wellington Baguette 542 12.70 p.m 2.37 £5.25
Monday Toastie 641 9.10 2.49 £5.95
Pigs in Blankets Hot Roll 563 8.90 1.16 N/A
Brie & Cranberry Baguette 596 8.20 2.13 £5.25
Christmas brunch Rye roll 460 8.00 am 1.65 N/A

#Christmas #specials #sold #meal #deals #Tesco #Asda #Waitrose #calories

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