Are Indian curries dishing out excessive calories? According to the consumer group Which?, an average Indian takeaway , for instance a combination of naan, Indian pulav rice and chicken tikka masala is loaded with calories, close to 1338 calories. To burn these extra calories one may need to cycle for five hours, the group has said.
According to the figures provided by the consumer group, the saturated fat content in a takeaway consisting of chicken tikka masala, pulav rice and plain naan was 23.2g (0.8oz) against the daily recommended level 20g (0.7oz) for a woman and 30g (1oz) for a man. The salt content of such a meal was found to be 3.6 g (0.12oz) vis a vis the recommended daily average of an adult at 6g (0.21oz).
290 calories were contained in 100g (3.5oz) of naan, much more than the calorie component of the curry - 685 calories in 350g ( 12.3oz) of chicken tikka masala.
Researchers also found that the same dish available in supermarkets contained 45 per cent less saturated fat and sugar.
The calorie content of a Chinese takeaway of sweet and-sour chicken, egg fried rice and spring rolls was 62.3g (2.19oz) of sugar, equivalent to 19 teaspoons against the average daily sugar limit of 90g (3.1oz) for a woman and 120g (4.2oz) for a man. The fat content of an average thin-crust pepperoni pizza was found to be 48g (1.6oz) by the consumer group.
The consumer group has requested for clear nutritional information on takeaway meals. While the pizza chains did give nutritional information on their websites, the information was erratic. For instance, the four cheese-and-tomato pizzas by Domino's were found to contain 50% more fat than what was mentioned on their website.
The editor of Which? Magazine, Neil Fowler, said: 'Everyone is entitled to enjoy a treat while watching the footie or a movie. But we would like people to be aware of just how much of their daily food intake come in just one meal.'
The Government's Food Standards Agency has advised restaurants to enable nutritional information of dishes available on their menu, to help customers make an informed choice.