Pick of the guilt-free mince pies! We taste and rate a selection
There is such a thing as a virtuous mince pie. Evelyn Toner, a dietitian at foodship.co.uk, gives her verdict on some health-conscious options. We then tasted and rated them.
Oggs Vegan Luxury Handmade
184 g, four mince pies, £2.50, loveoggs.com
Per 46 g pie: calories, 178; saturated fat, 2.6 g; sugar, 13 g; salt, 0.10 g
Apples are the main ingredient in these vegan mince pies, bactrim grippe which is good, for while these have the same amount of sugar as regular versions, fructose — or fruit sugar — from the apples provides other benefits, such as polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties, plus fibre, vitamins and minerals.
These mince pies are also smaller than regular ones, so could help with portion control.
However, they contain hydrogenated vegetable oils, including palm oil, which are processed ingredients that aren’t good for heart health.
Despite many people assuming otherwise, the vegan option is not always healthier; it depends on the rest of the ingredients in the product.
Health rating: 7/10
Taste test: Unusual aftertaste, but these have a pleasingly crumbly pastry. 4/10
Evelyn Toner, a dietitian at foodship.co.uk , gives her verdict on some health-conscious options
Deliciously Guilt-Free Keto
315 g, six pies, £17.99, deliciouslyguiltfree.com
Per 49 g pie: calories, 244; saturated fat, 8.8 g; sugar, 1.9 g; salt, 0.3 g
A keto diet is low-carb, high-fat and high-protein and has become popular for its supposed weight-loss benefits.
On the plus side, the coconut and almond flours in the keto pastry, combined with the nuts in the mincemeat, provide lots of protein, making these pies much more filling than the typical mince pie (with almost 8 g of protein per 100 g, compared with about 4 g).
However, as with many manufactured keto foods, they have sweeteners instead of sugar, which can cause bowel symptoms in some people. They also contain far more calories than a standard mince pie — almost 100 calories higher per 100 g — and have three times the saturated fat, 18 g (from the coconut flour and butter) per 100g compared with 6 g.
Health rating: 5/10
Taste test: A delicious, almost savoury mince pie. 9/10
270 g, four mince pies, £3.99, mclarenfinefoods.com
Per 67.5 g pie: calories, 257; saturated fat, 4.7 g; sugar, 20.9 g; salt, 0.07 g
These are suitable for people with coeliac disease or a wheat or gluten intolerance.
The pastry is made with rice flour, maize and potato starch — but I wouldn’t recommend them if you don’t need to avoid wheat or gluten, as they’re no healthier than a normal mince pie.
In fact, added sugar is the main ingredient, with about 5 tsp per pie. They’re also higher in saturated fat and sugar than a normal mince pie, with less protein because they don’t use any nuts (and gluten-free flour has about half the protein found in a standard flour). But they do have less salt.
Health rating: 4/10
Taste test: Juicy mincemeat, but thick, claggy pastry. 5/10
There is more pastry than filling here, which means more white flour and sugar.
These are smaller than a standard mince pie, so lower in calories, but they’re higher in fat and have almost the same sugar content per 100 g.
The organic ingredients make these more expensive, but I’d argue that the added preservatives outweigh any health benefits from being organic.
If you want to eat a mince pie, just pick your favourite and enjoy it in moderation.
Health rating: 6/10
Taste test: Overpoweringly sweet, both the pastry and filling are very sugary. 2/10
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