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Since popular high street baker Greggs started selling vegan sausage rolls, vegans, vegetarians and even omnivores have been raving about how tasty they are. But are vegan sausage rolls healthy? I did some research to find out.
Vegan sausage rolls are not healthy as they contain high levels of fat and salt. Whilst they are slightly healthier than meat-based sausage rolls, they cannot be said to be a healthy food.
In this article, I take a good look at the nutritional value of Greggs vegan sausage rolls, as they are the most popular of all vegan sausage rolls in the UK. I then compare them with other vegan sausage roll brands from popular shops and supermarkets to see which is the healthiest vegan sausage roll.
How many calories in a Greggs vegan sausage roll?
Each Greggs vegan sausage roll contains 312 calories. That’s slightly less than a Greggs meat sausage roll which contains 327 calories.
An average woman needs to consume 2,000 calories per day. So a vegan sausage roll would be 16% of your daily calorie allowance.
If you had a sausage roll for lunch, accompanied by a plain salad, some fresh fruit and water, then you’d actually be doing just fine, calorie-wise. However, do you do this? Or would you be more likely to have a sausage roll as a snack accompanied by a sugary soft drink. Then, it would have a high number of calories for a snack.
What’s in a Greggs vegan sausage roll?
When deciding whether vegan sausage rolls are healthy, it’s important to consider not just the calories, but to know what Greggs vegan sausage rolls are made from.
Greggs vegan sausage roll ingredients:
- 96 layers of puff pastry
- Quorn vegan sausage made with mycoprotein
- A secret recipe of herbs and spices
Are Greggs vegan sausage rolls gluten-free?
Greggs vegan sausage rolls are not gluten-free. They contain wheat and barley.
Are Greggs vegan sausage rolls halal?
Greggs vegan sausage rolls are halal as they do not contain any animal products or alcohol.
As Greggs understandably want to keep their recipe top secret, that’s all the information that’s given. To decide whether the sausage rolls are healthy, we’ll need to take a closer look at the nutritional information which is published on the Greggs website…
Greggs sausage roll nutritional information
This table compares Greggs vegan sausage rolls to standard Greggs meat sausage rolls:
|Vegan sausage roll||Meat sausage roll|
|Energy (calories)||312 kcal||327 kcal|
|Fat||19 g||22 g|
|Saturated Fat||9.3 g||13 g|
|Carbohydrate||21 g||24 g|
|Sugar||0.8 g||0 g|
|Protein||12 g||9.4 g|
|Salt||1.8 g||1.6 g|
As you can see from the table above, Greggs vegan sausage rolls are healthier than meat sausage rolls in almost every aspect. The vegan sausage rolls have fewer calories, less fat, fewer carbohydrates and more protein. They do have marginally more salt and sugar.
That said, neither sausage roll is particularly healthy when you look a the nutrients. The vegan sausage roll contains almost half of the recommended level of saturated fat that an adult should eat in a day and almost a third of the salt.
Do healthy vegan sausage rolls exist?
So we can conclude that the Greggs vegan sausage roll cannot be considered healthy because of the high levels of fat, particularly saturated fat, and salt. But let’s see how it compares to other shop-bought sausage rolls to see if there is such as thing as a healthy vegan sausage roll.
|Sausage roll||Calories||Fat||Saturated Fat||Salt|
|Greggs||312 kcal||19 g||9.3 g||1.8 g|
|Tesco||319 kcal||17.5 g||8 g||0.9 g|
|Co-op||278 kcal||15 g||5.7 g||0.8 g|
|Aldi||285 kcal||17 g||6.5 g||2.8 g|
|Linda McCartney (for two)||290 kcal||16.3g||7.4 g||0.9 g|
|Iceland||271 kcal||15.5 g||7.0 g||1.2 g|
|Frys||282 kcal||18 g||7.1 g||1.2 g|
|Walls||290 kcal||13.2 g||6.0 g||1.3 g|
The healthiest vegan sausage roll is the Co-Op GRO plant-based sausage roll which has 11% less calories than that Greggs vegan sausage roll, as well as 21% less fat and 39% less salt. You can find the Co-Op GRO range in the chilled section of selected local Co-Op stores in the UK.
To conclude, vegan sausage rolls are not healthy. Yes, they are a bit healthier than meat sausage rolls, but the vegan version still has a lot of fat and salt. Greggs vegan sausage rolls are one of the unhealthiest of all vegan sausage rolls.