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What Would A Nutritionist Choose & Avoid From Pret's Vegan Menu

Is the vegan menu from Pret a Manger really 'healthy'?

Sometimes, it just takes too much thought on bringing your lunch to work. It's a lot easier to drop by Pret and grab something quick and 'healthy'. But sometimes, its quite easy to assume that anything on a Veggie menu equals healthy and nutritious. So, we’ve enlisted the help of our resident nutritionist, Lily Soutter, to analyse the menu so you don’t have too...

 

Breakfast

Pret’s Coconut Porridge

What not to eat at Pret

Gluten-Free Jumbo Oats, Red Quinoa, Non-Dairy Coconut Milk, Coconut Water

Energy 218 kcal
Fat 10.4g
Of which - saturates 8.5g
Carbohydrate 28.9g
Of which - sugars 0.3g
Fibre 4.2g
Protein 4.6g
Salt 0.3g

Nutrition verdict:

A perfect way to start the day! Full slow release carbohydrates to fuel the body and brain all morning long. This extremely low sugar option also comes with a hit of protein and fibre which is key for balancing blood sugar and keeping hunger at bay.

 

Strawberry & Banana Smoothie

Is PRET really healthy

Strawberry, Banana, Apple Juice

Energy 211 kcal
Fat 0.5g
Of which - saturates 0g
Carbohydrate 47.8g
Of which - sugars 42g
Fibre 2.6g
Protein 1.5g
Salt 0.0g

Nutrition verdict: 

This smoothie may be full of vitamin C and antioxidants but is also packed with sugar. Starting the day with 42g sugar and only 1.5g of protein may provide a burst of energy but not the sustained slow release energy we need.

 

Lunch

Sweet Potato Falafel & Smashed Beets Veggie Box

Pret Veggie Menu review

Turmeric & sweet potato falafel, smashed beetroot humous, avocado & long-stem broccoli on a bed of brown & black rice, finished with a pot of zing green dressing

Energy 407 kcal
Fat 23.5g
Of which - saturates 3.7g
Carbohydrate 35.5g
Of which - sugars 8.6g
Fibre 8.2g
Protein 10.3g
Salt 1.7g

Nutrition verdict:

A vibrant salad box which is full of anti-inflammatory turmeric and antioxidant-rich veg. High in plant-based protein (10.3g) and fibre (8.2g) this salad not only keeps digestion healthy and hunger at bay, but is a fast track way of helping us reach our 5 a day.

 

Avocado & Chipotle Chickpeas Salad Wrap

Pret veggie menu review

Avocado, chipotle chickpeas, charred corn & black bean salsa, coriander, lemon juice, salad leaves, seasoning

Energy 444 kcal
Fat 20.3g
Of which - saturates 4.4g
Carbohydrate 49.4g
Of which - sugars 5g
Fibre 8.8g
Protein 11.1g
Salt 1.8g

Nutrition verdict:

As far as plant-based sandwiches go, this really does top the charts. It’s rare to find a sandwich with as much as 11.1g protein and 8.8g fibre per portion! The avocado makes a tasty replacement for mayonnaise, and provides a dose of heart-healthy vitamin E and monounsaturated fats.

 

Avo, Olives & Tomatoes

The healthy picks at Pret

Avocado, olive tapenade, roasted tomatoes, pine nuts, fresh basil leaves, roasted tomatoes, a handful of rocket

Energy 529 kcal
Fat 26.9g
Of which - saturates 4.8g
Carbohydrate 55.5g
Of which - sugars 3.8g
Fibre 9.8g
Protein 11.7g
Salt 2.1g

Nutrition verdict:

Whilst this sandwich still scores pretty high on the health charts, it is relatively high in salt (2.1g). The maximum recommended intake of salt per day is 6g, yet on average we’re consuming 8g per day! Eating too much salt can raise blood pressure, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

This sandwich is also high on the calorie front (529 kcal). More often than not, we don’t eat a sandwich in isolation. Usually, we have a drink, a side of crisps or a sweet snack accompanying our lunch; meaning that you quickly see the calories add up.

 

Snacks

Tamari Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds, tamari soy sauce
Energy 189 kcal
Fat 14.7g
Of which - saturates 2.3g
Carbohydrate 5.1g
Of which - sugars 0.4g
Fibre 1.7g
Protein 8.2g
Salt 0.4g 

Nutrition verdict:

These aren’t any ordinary pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted with a coating of tamari means you’re left with a delicious crunchy snack.

What’s more, at 189 kcal they are the perfect snack size. They also come with 8.2g protein and 1.7g fibre which are key components for keeping hunger at bay.

 

Chocolatey Coconut Bite

Vegan Menu at PRET A MANGER review

Creamed coconut, desiccated coconut, dairy-free dark chocolate, natural vanilla flavouring, carob syrup, coconut oil, salt

Energy 208 kcal
Fat 17.9g
Of which - saturates 15.4g
Carbohydrate 7.7g
Of which - sugars 5.8g
Fibre 4.7g
Protein 1.7g
Salt 0.0g

Nutrition verdict:

Often dairy and refined sugar-free chocolate bites are marketed as being healthier than your regular chocolate treat. However, this isn’t always the case. This chocolate bite comes with 15.4g saturated fat which is deemed high in relation to its portion size. The current government guidelines for saturated fat are to consume no more than 20g saturated for females and 30g saturated fat per day for males.

 

Drinks

Tropical Green Tea


Organic green tea, organic lemongrass, organic calendula petals, natural tropical fruit flavour

Energy 0 kcal
Fat 0g
Of which - saturates 0g
Carbohydrate 0g
Of which - sugars 0g
Fibre 0g
Protein 0g
Salt 0g

Nutrition verdict:

Green tea is the perfect calorie and sugar-free beverage to keep us warm throughout winter. Not only is green tea full of antioxidants, but it also counts to our daily water intake.

 

Rice Coconut Hot Chocolate

A nutritionist debunks PRET

Organic hot chocolate, rice coconut milk 

Energy 288 kcal
Fat 4.4g
Of which - saturates 3g
Carbohydrate 57.1g
Of which - sugars 40.4g
Fibre 3.3g
Protein 2.3g
Salt 0.2g

Nutrition verdict:

Dairy free hot chocolate can often be perceived as a healthier choice to have. However, it’s important to note that this hot chocolate alone comes with 40.4g free sugar!!! Free sugars are those added to food or drinks by ourselves or by manufacturers and the guidelines are set as having no more than 30g per day. With this one drink alone you will have already exceeded your daily limit sugar limit! This is certainly more of an occasional winter warmer.

 

Lily Soutter, BSc (Hons) Food & Human Nutrition, Dip NT

 

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