A single helping of chicken tikka masala contains more than an adult’s entire daily allowance of fat, according to a new survey.
The nation’s favourite takeaway meal, when served with pilau rice, includes on average 116 per cent of a person’s Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) of fat as well as 92 per cent of their salt allowance.
Chinese sweet and sour chicken meals with fried rice were little better, containing 16 teaspoons of sugar – three quarters of an adult’s recommended daily limit – along with 119 per cent of their salt quota.
Feeding takeaways to children could be even more damaging because GDAs can be significantly lower for under-10s than for adults.
Eating too much salt raises blood pressure, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
The Local Government Association survey of 223 takeaway outlets in England and Wales also found evidence of food being mis-sold with potentially dangerous consequences.
Despite some researchers telling takeaway staff they were allergic to nuts, one in five of those was served a tikka masala meal containing traces of peanuts or almonds.
In two cases, meals advertised as sweet and sour chicken actually contained turkey, while in other meals illegally high amounts of certain colourings were found.
Cllr Paul Bettison, Chairman of the local government regulation board, said: “Everyone knows takeaways often aren’t especially healthy and should be enjoyed in moderation, but that just one meal can contain so much fat, salt and sugar is truly shocking and unnecessary.
“There’s no excuse for illegal amounts of colouring and as for secretly using a cheaper type of meat, that’s just shamefully ripping off customers. And including nuts when you’ve been told a person suffers from a nut allergy is unforgivable, it could potentially kill them.”