Fish & chips not fattening – but watch portion sizes, says study –

Fish & chips not fattening – but watch portion sizes, says study Published:  27 August, 2012

FISH and chips fattening? Not if they are cooked properly and provided over-large portions of Britain’s most popular dish are not served.

That’s the latest results following a series of nutritional tests carried out by the National Federation of Fish Friers.

Working with Stelios Theocharous of Fish and Chips Test/The Batter Company, Mark Drummond from the Federation produced 10 samples for testing. This included a sample of homemade mushy peas, so the results could be combined together to produce results for fish and chips or fish, chips and mushy peas.

All sample weights were recorded so they were able to produce both results per 100 grams and results for certain size meals.

The results, based on six ounces of white fish and 10 ounces of chips, vary depending on whether mushy peas are included. But fish and chips by themselves are less than 1,000 calories and just over that figure if peas were included. This would represent around half the recommended calorie intake of a woman  – and less than half if it is a man.

Furthermore, if rapeseed oil is used in the frying, a fish and chip meal is very low in saturated fat – the type of fat doctors say people should avoid – especially when compared to frying in beef dripping or palm oil – almost seven or eight times lower in fact.

The Federation says: “Rapeseed oil (when in optimum condition) produces the healthiest product, but breaks down more easily than other frying mediums. It is, however, a reasonable view that the customer’s expectation of taste is more important.”

It adds that the thickness of chips is also important when counting the calories.

“The portion size you sell has a huge impact on the total fat and calories your customers consume. However healthy the product is, if portion sizes are very large the customer will have consumed a high amount of fat and large number of calories,” it says.