Despite the fact that we'd happily eat pizza and chocolate every day for lunch, for the sake of our bodies we can't. So, the next best option is to pop into our high street locals and choose as best as we can. Unfortunately, some of these so-called 'healthy alternatives' may not be as healthy as they first seem...

PRET A MANGER

With a Pret A Manger located at almost every corner in London, this eatery is a hard one to miss.
Whilst their marketing message is all about their fresh and natural food, it's still essential to pick your food wisely. Sandwiches, wraps, soups and granolas can be jam packed full of hidden salt, sugar, and saturated fats. The sandwich to watch out for is their 'Posh Cheddar and Pickle Baguette', which contains more calories than a McDonalds Big Mac! This baguette has a mammoth 621 calories and a shocking 2.7g of salt, 70g of white refined carbohydrates and 9.2g of saturated fat per portion. Despite this, Pret also stock some super healthy foods, which are freshly made each morning. They are completely up to date with food trends whilst also catering for those who are dairy, gluten or wheat free.
Pret A Manger - is it good for you

 Photo: Pret a Manger

Pret have also made healthy snacking a whole lot easier. One of their best products so far must be their 'Pret Pots'. These little snack pots are less than 200 calories each and are full of fresh and healthy whole foods.

Lily's top choices at Pret:

- AVOCADO AND CRAYFISH SALAD
- PROTEIN PACKED SUPERBOWL
- BEETS, SQUASH AND FETA SUPERBOWL
- ASIAN TOFU SALAD
- TUNA NICOISE SALAD
- DAIRY-FREE 5 GRAIN PORRIDGE
- COCONUT YOGHURT
- CARROT JUICE
- HEALTHIEST SANDWICHES: AVOCADO AND EGG ON RYE, BEETROOT AND RADISH ON RYE OR CUCUMBER AND HUMMUS ON RYE

WASABI

Whilst Asian food has a reputation of being super healthy, this doesn’t necessarily always translate to Wasabi. Many of their sushi meals are overloaded with white refined rice, which can lead to blood sugar imbalances, fatigue, afternoon energy slumps and weight gain.
WASABI - is it actually good for you
Photo: The Brit Abroad

Watch out for their sauces and white rice noodle soups, these are often laden with salt and sugar. Lastly, be wary around fried and tempura food which are full of unhealthy trans fats.

Lily’s top choices at Wasabi:

- EDAMAME
- SASHIMI
- MISO SOUP
- BROWN RICE SUSHI
- SALMON POKE SALAD POT
- BROWN RICE SUSHI: YASAI ROLL SET, CHUMAKI SET, HARMONY SET, RAINBOW SET, SALMON NIGIRI SET

POD

Pod’s ethos is all about fresh food from good ingredients. Despite this, it’s easy to pick a seemingly healthy meal, which in reality is not so healthy at all.
Watch out for their breakfast smoothie containing whopping 46g of sugar, which is the same amount found in a 100g bar of chocolate.
POD - is it good for you
Photo: Pod

It’s also important to take note of the salt content. A regular sized scrambled egg ‘protein feast’ contains 4g of salt coming close to our 6g daily allowance.
Before eating at Pod, it’s vital to double check the salt and sugar content as these vary dramatically between dishes.


It’s not all doom and gloom; in fact, the majority of their food is great. Their salads are always tasty, and they have a super healthy range of snack pots.

 Lily’s top choices at Pod:

- PEANUT BUTTER POWER PORRIDGE, BERRY BOOST PORRIDGE, GLUTEN FREE       PORRIDGE
- ENERGIZER SCRAMBLED EGG, LOW SALT
- PICKING POTS
- AVOCADO AND CHILLI BIBIMBAP
- ALL SALADS: RESEARCH THE SALT CONTENT AS SOME CAN BE VERY HIGH
- HEALTHIEST SANDWICHES: AVOCADO AND CHILLI TOASTED SANDWICH

EAT

EAT caters for all. It has the super food salads for their health-conscious customers as well as 800-calorie beef and ale pies for those craving comfort food! It’s real mix of unhealthy vs. healthy foods so researching the menu is key to making the right choices. Soups can hide up to 3g of salt per portion and sandwiches may have up to 3.4g – over half our daily allowance.
Eat - is it healthy for you
Photo: Instagram - EAT                                                                       

The great news is that EAT is on par healthy food trends, providing alternative dishes like the high protein quinoa and buckwheat porridge and avocado on toast!


 Lily’s top choices at Eat:

- AVOCADO ON SOURDOUGH TOAST WITH FETA
- HEALTHIEST SANDWICH: SIMPLE ROAST CHICKEN
- COCONUT CHILLI CHICKEN AND RAW SLAW PROTEIN POT
- SMOKED SALMON, EDAMAME AND EGG PROTEIN POT
- HARISSA HUMMUS RAINBOW SALAD PROTEIN POT
- CHIPOTLE CHICKEN AND AVOCADO SALAD
- TUNA NICOISE SALAD
- HARISSA HUMMUS AND RAINBOW VEGETABLE
- MISO AND TAHINI BEEF SALAD
- QUINOA AND BUCKWHEAT PORRIDGE
- CHIA POTS

 

Lily Soutter, Nutritionist and Nutritional Therapist

Photo: Agnieszka P
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