Juliette Kellow, a state-registered dietician and deputy editor of Slimming magazine, says this meal contains 1,230 calories. Of these, 21 per cent come from carbohydrate, 19 per cent from protein and 60 per cent from fat, of which 10 per cent are saturates.
"This meal is absolutely loaded with fat, with the ready-made pasta sauce providing most of this," says Juliette. "The jar of sauce included sunflower oil as the third most important ingredient, indicating that large amounts were used in the product.
"Healthy eating guidelines recommend that no more than one-third of our calories should come from fat; almost two-thirds of the calories in this meal came from this nutrient.
"Nevertheless, despite the high total fat intake of this meal, the proportion of calories derived from saturates was within healthy eating guidelines - these suggest that no more than one-tenth of calories should come from saturates.
"This was because the type of oil used in this sauce was low in saturates. One main way to reduce the fat content of the meal would have been to use just half a jar of the sauce, rather than the whole jar.
"The salt intake of this meal is also really high, mainly due to the pasta sauce and the tuna, which was canned in brine. Current healthy eating guidelines recommend a reduction in salt from 9g to 6g each day. This meal alone provided more than the recommended maximum intake.
One way to reduce salt intake would be to choose tuna canned in water. Alternatively, salt (and fat) intakes could be reduced dramatically by making a home-made pasta a sauce rather than relying on ready made jars or cans of sauce. Although a little more time-consuming, a low-fat/low- salt sauce can easily be made using canned tomatoes, chopped onion, garlic, black pepper and a pinch of mixed herbs.
"This meal provided plenty of different vitamins and minerals and was a particularly good source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and the B vitamins. In contrast, it provided little vitamin C. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits and their juices, blackcurrants, berry fruits, kiwi fruit, green, leafy vegetables (eg sprouts and cabbage), tomatoes, peppers and new potatoes. Following the meal with an orange or a satsuma would increase vitamin C intake considerably, and would be a good idea.
"Most people should aim to have five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. If you don't like vegetables, it's important to eat plenty of different fruits. As well as fresh fruit, unsweetened fruit juice and frozen and canned fruits (in fruit juice rather than syrup) are suitable choices."Reuse content