Tried and Tasted: Baked Beans

The popularity of baked beans should not be underestimated. An almost staple part of the UK diet, baked beans are heaped on toast, on baked potatoes, alongside breakfast items and thrown into casseroles and stews.

Cheap to buy, baked beans are packed with fibre and full of vitamins and minerals. Even better news is that many of the brands are reducing the salt content in their products. The Team, who love their baked beans decided to have a look at what’s available and how do the calories and nutrition stack up…

Table 1: Baked Beans Compared
Brand Weight Watchers Tesco, Light Choices Morrisons, Eat Smart
  Weight Watchers Baked Beans Tesco, Light Choices Baked Beans Morrisons Eat Smart Baked Beans
Rating 1 2 3
Comments Proving low calorie doesn’t have to mean low taste Weight Watchers wins this round of tried and tasted Looks and tastes like regular baked beans, no low calorie tell tale signs here These looked like the odd one out of the bunch due to the stronger sauce, but won us round once in our tummies
Appearance Slightly paler than other with lots of sauce Big beans! Smaller beans and a darker sauce than the others
Taste Moderately creamy tomato sauce; very pleasant Consensus was tastes like Heinz Rich tomato sauce, which some found too much
Texture Firm but  palatable Filling Just right
Serving Size ½ Can/207.5g ½ Can/210g ½ Can/210g
Calories (kcal) per serving 136 150 147
Fat (g) per serving 0.4 1.1 0.8
Table 2: Baked Beans Compared
Brand Branston, 50% Reduced Salt & Sugar Sainsburys, Reduced Sugar & Salt
  Branston, Reduced Salt and Sugar Baked Beans Sainsbury's Baked Beans
Rating 3 5
Comments Verifying Branston are good at more than just sauces, these were another welcome tin to our tasting get together A lot of calories, but not so much taste, disappointing.
Appearance Good balance between beans and sauce Looked appetising but…
Taste Lacked the usual beanie taste Surprisingly bland
Texture Just right Beans themselves were rather dry
Serving Size ½ Can/210g ½ Can/210g
Calories (kcal) per serving 151 168
Fat (g) per serving 0.6 1.1



Firstly, let’s dispel the myth that a baked bean is a baked bean…the brands tried and tasted showed a difference in appearance and texture and they definitely did not all taste the same.

The top two brands, Weight Watchers and Tesco, Light Choices were a cut above the others on taste. Weight Watchers came through to win the day with the added bonus they are lower on calories than most. There is a 32 calorie difference between the Weight Watchers product and the bottom runner from Sainsbury’s.

Worth always remembering to check out labels and different brands even on the old staples in the diet.

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