Some supermarket ready meals use five-a-day logos on their labels, even though they contain high levels of salt, sugar or saturated fat. Would you expect to see a five-a-day label on fatty or salty foods?
I thought I was pretty good at reading labels when I’m in the supermarket and deciding which products deserve a space in my shopping basket. It turns out that I still have a lot to learn, because I put my faith in the ‘five-a-day’ logos that appear on lots of different products.
My mistake was expecting that any product using a ‘five-a-day’ logo would be good for me. It’s got one of my recommended portions of fruit or vegetables in it, so it must be filled with vitamins and general healthy goodness. Right?
In a new investigation, we have found that some supermarket ready meals claiming to contain one or more portions of your five-a-day also contain a few surprises. Surprises like almost half your guideline daily amount (GDA) of salt. Or levels of saturated fat that would be high enough to earn a red traffic light on a nutrition label.
Help with healthy choices
Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day helps us maintain a balanced diet. The five-a-day logo is supposed to be all about helping food shoppers make healthy choices. If that’s really the case, surely it should not appear on a 380g ready meal that contains 37.5g of sugar.
I am genuinely surprised by our findings. I had no idea that food products could use a five-a-day logo even when they are high in saturated fat, salt or sugar.
It looks as though I’m going to have to start looking even more carefully at food labels. Especially if they claim to contain one of my five-a-day. I guess my trips to the supermarket are going to take even longer!
Do you think it’s acceptable for five-a-day’ logos to be used on products that would have red traffic light labels for sugar, salt or saturated fat? Are you surprised by our findings too?