Sunday, 7 August 2016

UK Retailer files low carb health claim

UK retailer Marks & Spencer has filed a claim with the European regulator EFSA for their "Balanced for You" range of ready meals with a limited ratio of carbohydrate to protein.
Previously know as "Fuller Longer" the range had to be renamed after a regulatory complaint that there was no evidence to support that as a health claim. Developed in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen's Rowett School of Nutrition and Health the range was very succesful with an impact study citing the popularity and commerical success.

M&S are reported to have submitted a scientific claim that a carbohydrate / protein ratio of 1.8 or less will lead to weight loss in a diet of 2000 calories or less over a period of at least 12 weeks.

If successful they will be able to claim a health / weight loss benefit that is not currently available on EFSA's list of approved claims.

For low carb people this is interesting but not earth shattering. If I were to eat the EFSA recommended intake of protein at 0.83 grams per day per kg of body weight I would eat 67 g/day of protein and following the M&S idea I would limit my carbs to 120 grams. Not exactly Atkins but equally a big shift from UK standard dietary guidelines that would have me eating more than double that level of carbs.

The M&S range isn't high fat either, it's aiming at a relatively low calorie intake and hence is low in fat too to hit a 1200 calorie goal.

If I were to construct an 1800 calorie plan using the M&S ratio of 1.8 it might have 70 grams of protein, 120 grams of carbs with 58% of calories from 84 grams of fat. Maybe there is hope after all.

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