Doner Kebabs: A Heart Attack’s Best Friend

Döner kebab.jpg

Surprise, surprise.  Doner kebabs, those sauce-slathered meaty pita-y yummy late-night meals (at least in parts of Europe and beyond) , are not healthy for you.

A week ago, the BBC had a nice little fluff piece which vaguely asked if kebabs were healthy, but then went on to talk about its history, weaving in and out of its potential health risks, especially due to portion size.

This week, the news is ‘shocking’.  The average doner kebab comes with 1,000 calories

Among the kebabs sampled – without salad or sauces – the average doner contained 98% of an adult’s recommended daily salt and 148% of their daily saturated fat allowance.

Yikes.  I love these things.  I usually eat them when I’ve barely eaten anything that day, especially after walking around for a considerable amount of time.  Seems like that’s the only time where these nutritional monstrosities are worth the risk.

But more worrisome than the hidden health risks is the fact that they have found that some kebabs contain meat that is different from what is advertised.  

Some 35% of labels listed a different meat species than that actually found in the kebab.

Six kebabs were found to include pork when it had not been declared as an ingredient. Two of the six were described as Halal – food or drink permitted for Muslims, which must not contain pork.

As someone that doesn’t eat beef or pork, this gives me another layer of concern.  But my reasons aren’t religious.  Considering the high numbers of Muslims in London and beyond, I would see that as a particularly egregious affront.

So, be cautious, dear readers.

Semi-related note:  In Chile, they have a deli meat called “jamon pavo de pierna”.  ‘Jamon’ theoretically means ham.  ‘Pavo’ is turkey.  “De pierna” is “of the leg”.  Upon many efforts of checking into it, I’m fairly convinced that is in fact turkey and not ham/pork.  Which is good, because it’s tasty and I don’t want to change my self-imposed dietary constraints.

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One Response to Doner Kebabs: A Heart Attack’s Best Friend

  1. roniweiss says:

    Hi kebab article viewers,

    For whatever reason, you are my biggest audience.

    Check out to see if there might be something else on the site that may interest you.

    I travel and I comment on political stuff.

    Check out the About Roni page here or by clicking above. You owe me that much, no?

    (You can find me at Twitter (@roniweiss) and on Flickr (roniweiss), as well as my travel web series, Roni On Location on YouTube.

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