Beware this Veganuary - plant-based 'fast food' can be four times higher in sugar

vegetarian Burger with a Patty made of buckwheat
Vegan food is not necessarily better for you. [Photo: Getty]

Those doing Veganuary may want to be careful of food they grab “on the go”.

Vegan “fast food” available on the British high street can contain up to four times more sugar than non plant-based options.

READ MORE: Pros and cons of Veganuary

A favourite among foodies, Pret’s vegan Very Berry Croissant is packed with 21.9g of the sweet stuff, equivalent to five teaspoons of sugar.

This is four teaspoons more than its classic French Butter Croissant, which contains 4.5g of sugar.

Pret’s vegan Very Berry Croissant has the equivalent of five teaspoons of sugar. [Photo: Pret]

A record quarter of a million people worldwide took part in Veganuary last year, The Guardian reported.

Whether for health, environmental or financial reasons, more and more of us are cutting out meat and dairy.

While ditching butter, cream and steak may sound good for our waistlines, research by marketing agency JBH reveals vegan food can be higher in sugar, salt and calories.

Subway’s Meatless Meatball Marinara may sound like it delivers a taste of Italy, but it contains 19.3g of sugar, 3.6g of salt and 558 calories.

Sandwich fans may be better sticking to the original Meatball Sub, which has 13.5g of sugar, 1.9g of salt and 438 calories.

It does, however, contain more fat than its vegan alternative at 16.2g compared to 12.3g.

Subway’s Meatless Meatball Marinara is higher in calories than the meaty classic. [Photo: Subway]

Chicken Nugget fans may be pleased to hear McDonalds now does Veggies Dippers.

Don’t be fooled into thinking their healthier, however, with the plant-based alternative containing 321 calories, 1.1g of salt and 2.3g of sugar.

This is compared to the classic’s 259 calories, 0.51g of salt and 0.6 of sugar. When it comes to fat, the meals are equal at 13g each.

McDonalds' Veggie Dippers may be less healthy than Chicken Nuggets. [Photo: Getty]

Following the success of its vegan sausage roll, Greggs introduced a plant-based steak bake.

This contains more sugar than it’s classic Steak Bake, with 1g compared to 0g. It is also 0.4g higher in salt.

On all other counts the vegan bake seems to be healthier, with 380 calories versus 408kcal and 24g of fat compared to 26g.

Greggs' Vegan Steak Bake is higher in sugar than the meaty option. [Photo: Greggs]

Fans of the coffee chain Costa may opt for its vegan Smoky Ham & Cheeze Toastie, which comes in at 352kcal - 45 calories more than its British Ham & Cheese Toastie.

It is also 0.9g higher in fat and contains 0.3g more salt, but manages to cut 3g off its sugar content.

Costa's vegan Smoky Ham & Cheeze Toastie contains 45kcal more than the classic sandwich. [Photo: Costa]

Burger’s King’s fan favourite Whopper spurred the fast-food giant to create a vegan alternative.

While both contain 12g of sugar, the plant-based patty fares better when it comes to calories and fat.

The Vegan Rebel Whopper comes in at 596kcal versus 627kcal and 33g of fat compared to 34g.

It does, however, contain 0.6 more salt than the meat feast.

Vegans should be aware, however, the soy-based meal is cooked on the same grill as its meaty predecessors, the BBC reported.

The Vegan Rebel Whopper comes in at 596kcal. [Photo: Burger King]

KFC has also jumped on the vegan trend, introducing a plant-based burger.

This contains 0.19g more sugar than the fillet burger’s 5.5g, as well as 0.89g more salt.

Yet it is marginally less calorific at 450kcal versus 475kcal and 18.99g of fat compared to 19.3g.

KFC's vegan burger has 0.19g more sugar than the fillet patty. [Photo: KFC]
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