With more and more people opting to buy lunch out daily, it’s no wonder healthy fast-food eateries such as Leon are thriving. But how should we navigate our way through the menu to be in the know of the healthiest picks?
Our resident nutritionist, Lily Soutter, has analysed the menu so you don’t have to...
HARISSA FALAFEL WRAP
Sweet potato falafel, vegan garlicky aioli, harissa sauce, pickled red onion, chopped mint & parsley and crispy onions.
Energy 482 kcal
Of which - saturates 2g
Of which - sugars 6g
This vibrant wrap comes with as much as 7g of fibre which supports digestive health and keeps hunger at bay. The wrap has a low saturated fat content and provides as much as 10g of plant-based protein!
GRILLED HALLOUMI WRAP
Grilled halloumi, cos lettuce, baby plum tomatoes, parsley & mint, aioli and sweet chilli jam.
Energy 531 kcal
Of which - saturates 11.7g
Of which - sugars 8.4g
This vegetarian wrap may be super tasty but it also comes with a large amount of salt (2.7g). That is almost half of our recommended daily intake! It's also high in saturated fat with 11.7g per portion. An excess of saturated fats within the diet is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and elevated cholesterol levels which is why women should consume no more than 20g and men 30g per day.
BRAZILLIAN BLACK BEAN
Black beans, carrots, onions, spiced with sweet and smoked paprika, oregano, sprinkled with mint and parsley.
Energy 408 kcal
Of which - saturates 1.8g
Of which - sugars 5.1g
This comforting hot box is on the lower end of the calorie range, with just 408 kcal per portion. Not only is this box a great source of plant-based protein it’s also low in saturated fat. With additional healthy promoting herbs and spices, this box certainly isn’t short of flavour!
MOROCCAN MEATBALLS HOT BOX
Grilled meatballs cooked down in a tomato sauce with spices, served with freshly chopped parsley and mint, toasted seeds and garlic aioli. Served with Italian brown rice and fresh slaw.
Energy 778 kcal
Of which - saturates 9.4g
Of which - sugars 11.1g
This hot box comes with as much as 778 kcal, the fat and saturated fat content is also relatively high for your average weekday lunch. What’s more, it provides over half your recommended daily salt intake! This is certainly a tasty meal but one to enjoy in moderation.
LEBANESE MEZZE SALAD
Harissa-roasted carrot & butternut squash served with falafel, pomegranate-studded hummus, and a lentil kale salad with brightly picked onions.
Energy 438 kcal
Of which - saturates 3.2g
Of which - sugars 8.3g
This salad comes with a whopping 8g of fibre per portion and 11g of plant-based protein, both of which help to keep us fuller for longer. Full of vibrant colours and only 438 kcal per box, this salad is a must!
CHICKEN KALE CAESAR
Chargrilled chicken thigh on a base of kale and green lentils, with a honey mustard dressing, Italian cheese and fresh herbs.
Energy 593 kcal
Of which - saturates 7g
Of which - sugars 4g
Salads are often viewed as a low-calorie healthy option, however, it’s important to note that this Caesar salad comes with as much as 600kcal and 44g fat per portion. These extra calories and fat are likely to come from the creamy cheesy dressing, therefore if looking for a healthy option it may be something to leave on the side.
CHARGRILLED CHICKEN POT
Chargrilled chicken and mixed herbs
Energy 141 kcal
Of which - saturates 1g
Of which - sugars 0.1g
A low-fat high protein snack which is perfect for balancing blood sugar and keeping hunger at bay!
LEON BAKED FRIES
Crispy baked potato fries
Energy 302 kcal
Of which - saturates 1.8g
Of which - sugars 3g
We all know that regular fries are high in fat and are something to be enjoyed in moderation, however, the main difference with Leon fries is that they’re baked rather than fried which uses less fat in the cooking process. Whilst these may be ever so slightly healthier than regular fries, they are still relatively high in fat and calories per small portion so moderation is key.
Lily Soutter BSc (Hons) Food & Human Nutrition, Dip NT