Monday 24 October 2016

Some wraps can contain as many calories as a 12-inch pizza - study

Dressings and sauces can push the calorie count up
Dressings and sauces can push the calorie count up

A lunch including a takeaway wrap can potentially contain more than half of the recommended daily amount of calories.

A report by Safefood has also found wide variations in portion sizes, as well as fat and salt content in pre-made tortilla wraps.

Nearly 250 "to go" or "takeaway" wraps from more than 80 outlets across the country were analysed in the study, which found that some contained nearly 1,000 calories - the equivalent of a 12-inch pizza.

Coupling a wrap with a soft drink and a packet of crisps can see the calorie count reach 1,500 for a single meal. The recommended daily calorie intake for men is 2,5000 and 2,000 for women


The Safefood report also revealed worryingly-high salt content in some wraps. One Chicken Caesar wrap was found to contain 72pc of an adult's Guideline Daily Amount.

The most popular wrap fillings in the country are chicken and salad, and chicken tikka and salad.

The report found that wraps varied widely in size, with the largest wrap being two-and-a-half times the size of the smallest.

Dr Marian Faughnan, chief specialist in nutrition at Safefood, said "an average tortilla wrap on its own contains 149 calories, almost the same as two slices of bread, which contains 158 calories".

Wraps have often been perceived as the healthier lunchtime option when eating on the go.

According to industry experts there are plenty of other options available.

"If you can make the salad nice enough you can cut out the wrap entirely … there are healthier ways to get your carbohydrates like barley, quinoa and even whole-grain rice," Darina McCafferty, general manager at Dublin's Cornucopia restaurant told the Herald.


She cited the increasingly prevalent "gym culture" in Ireland as key to encouraging people to analyse what they're eating.

Domini Kemp, owner of Alchemy Juices, said: "Regarding wraps versus sandwiches, it all depends on what people are actually looking to achieve.

"Low-fat diets are not necessarily that beneficial as low-fat alternatives are usually loaded with sugar,

"Wraps may have less calories or carbohydrates than bread, but if you put a lot of processed meat in them, and highly processed sauces/dressings then they aren't doing you much good," she added.

Dr Faughnan echoed this by saying that "wraps and sandwiches are a healthy option," as long as people eat "smaller portion sizes and fillings such as lean meat or fish and plenty of salad and vegetables".

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