A BBC investigation has found that vegetarian meals that actually contain high levels of salt and fat are being marketed in supermarkets as healthy foods. The said food products were discovered to contain half of the recommended maximum daily amount. Supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Morrisons were accused by experts for misleading customers of their so-called ‘healthy foods’.
According to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), vegetarian foods still contain high levels of saturated fat, salt, and sugar due to the processes they undergo.
Accused supermarkets responded to the criticism that they’re just committed to promoting a healthy diet. Morrisons, in particular, even claim that their vegan items offer customers an alternative for red meat.
Experts found 6 grams of saturated fat per half pack in lemongrass falafel, coconut, and edamame in Sainsbury’s ‘healthier choices’ section. In Tesco’s ‘healthy and diet meals’ section, a lamb hot pot was discovered containing 8.5 grams of saturated fat. And in Morrisons, their lentil hotpot contained 2 grams of salt stocked in their ‘healthier choices’ section.
According to a British Dietetic Association, supermarkets should educate their customers to purchase food items that are actually healthy, and they should fulfil their ‘duty of care’ to the customers. Tesco and Sainsbury’s admitted that they mistakenly stored the said items under their ‘healthy and diet heals’ section and they are taking steps to resolve the situation.
Meanwhile, Morrisons explained that they did not misplace the said items in their ‘healthier choices’ section because the items do not offer an absolute healthy diet but rather, just a better alternative that offers much lower grams of fat, salt, and sugar.
Authorities are expected to keep watch on the said supermarkets if they’ve fulfilled their promise of making steps in resolving this issue with their food items.