COLUMN: How does your chippy measure up?

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Fish and chips is a great British tradition and one that we all love indulging in from time to time.

But it might surprise you to know that there is a big variation to be found across the county in terms of portions sizes, calories and fat.

This can make a huge difference if you’re trying to make a few healthier food choices.

Our trading standards team recently carried out testing on portions of chip-shop chips across Derbyshire.

The team bought the smallest portions available, these ranged in name from small, regular or standard portions.

They looked at information including weight of portion, calories per portion and fat per portion.

There was a surprising amount of variation in what they found including portion weights ranging from 231g to 719g, calories per portion ranged from 477 kcal to 1,653kcal. This represents between 24 per cent and 83 per cent of an adults recommended daily calorie intake. The total fat ranged from 18g to 63g per portion, making up between 26 per cent to 90 per cent of daily recommended amounts.

Saturated fat per portion ranged from 10g to 29g. This represents between 50 per cent to 145 per cent of daily recommended amounts. Finally, 32 per cent of portions had saturated fat on or above the recommended daily amount.

We’re not suggesting that you cut out your chippy treat completely, but there’s a few ways to make our national dish a bit healthier

Always ask for the smallest portion size, think about what you’re eating with your chips regarding adding anything battered as it is a massive increase in calories and fat.

If you really need salt, add it at home where you’ve got more control over how much to add.

Lots of businesses’ including chip shops have signed up to our Heart of Derbyshire scheme and pledged to make healthy changes such as not routinely offering salt, using healthy oils to fry in and grilling or poaching instead of frying.

Find out more at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/heartofderbyshire.

Alternatively, if you’re still craving a potato treat why not try oven chips instead or sweet potato fries?

Oven chips are far lower in saturated fat and offer a healthier chip option, while sweet potato fries even add to your fruit and veg intake.