In the midst of Diabetes Awareness Month, a new study by medical experts at Selph reveals that mince pies from Iceland, Waitrose, and Greggs have the highest sugar content among UK supermarkets. This study, critical in the light of the Christmas season, aims to raise awareness about the sugar intake associated with Christmas treats, especially in relation to diabetes.
Mince pies, a staple in British households during Christmas, have been found to contain alarmingly high levels of sugar. With the UK consuming an estimated 800 million mince pies annually, the implications for health are significant. Selph’s study specifically highlights the varieties from Iceland, Waitrose, and Greggs, which reportedly contain over 24 grams of sugar each – the equivalent of more than six standard sugar cubes.
Claire Merrifield, medical director at Selph, underscores the importance of this research in the context of diabetes. “Eating excess sugar can lead to weight gain, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes,” she explains. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey suggests that the average sugar intake in the UK is significantly higher than the recommended 30 grams per day, posing a serious health concern.
The Selph study meticulously analysed the sugar content in mince pies from various retailers. Iceland and Waitrose’s All Butter Mince Pies top the list, each containing 24.6 grams of sugar, which is 82% of the daily recommended intake. Even the least sugary option, Sainsbury’s Mince Pies, contains 13.6 grams of sugar, almost half of the daily limit.
|Brand||Sugar per Pie (g)||Sugar Cubes (4g each)||Price per Pie (£)|
|Iceland Luxury All Butter Mince Pies||24.6||6.15||0.41|
|Waitrose Christmas All Butter Mince Pies||24.6||6.15||0.41|
|Gregg’s Sweet Mince Pies||23||5.75||0.48|
|M&S Collection Mince Pies||22.2||5.5||0.58|
|Aldi Specially Selected All Butter Mince Pies||19||4.75||0.36|
|The Bakery At Asda Mince Pies||15||3.75||0.20|
|Morrisons Mince Pies||14.4||3.5||0.24|
|Lidl Favorina Mince Pies||14.2||3.5||0.20|
|Tesco Mince Pies||13.7||3.4||0.18|
|Sainsbury’s Mince Pies||13.6||3.4||0.40|
Despite these findings, Merrifield acknowledges the impracticality of completely avoiding mince pies during Christmas. She offers several tips to enjoy these treats responsibly:
- Make your own mince pies. Homemade pies allow control over sugar content. Using wholemeal flour and smaller sizes can further reduce calorie intake.
- Eat sweets after nutritious meals. Indulging in a mince pie after a healthy meal can mitigate its impact.
- Incorporate exercise. Regular, even moderate, exercise can offset some of the negative effects of sugar consumption.