Eating chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner seems acceptable around Easter.
But you might want to avoid scoffing quite as much this year, as just one egg could contain up to two weeks’ of your sugar allowance.
For comparison, this is the same as two bottles of maple syrup, four bottles of Coca-Cola or three-and-a-half tubs of Haagen-Dazs Belgian chocolate ice cream.
Brands have supersized their Easter chocolate offerings in recent years, packing supermarket shelves full of ‘giant’ eggs.
On top of being packed with sugar, a MailOnline audit found some of Britain’s best-loved chocolate eggs contain as much as three days of calorie intake.
MailOnline audit found some of Britain’s best-loved chocolate eggs contain up to two weeks of your sugar allowance and three days of calorie intake
This website looked at more than 40 Easter eggs sold by seven different brands, from M&S to Thorntons.
The Hotel Chocolat Patisserie Chocolate Ostrich Egg, on sale for a whopping £86, contains 406g of sugar — that is the equivalent 13 and a half days of an adults recommended intake.
The NHS advises adults to keep their free sugars — those not naturally present in diary foods or whole pieces of fruit — to 30g per day.
Children, who Easter eggs are often intended for, should have less — 24g for those aged seven to 10, while four to six-year-olds should have no more than 19g.
On top of the staggering sugar content, the calories in the luxury-priced egg, which weighs a whopping 1.09kg kilograms, is a massive 6,009kcal.
The brand’s Dark Chocolate Ostrich Easter Egg (1.09kg) also contains 6,275 calories and 256.2g of sugar.
WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE?
Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS
• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count
• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain
• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on
• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options
• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts
• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day
• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day
Source: NHS Eatwell Guide
For context, an adult woman is supposed to consume around 2,000 per day to maintain a healthy weight, with the figure rising to 2,500 for men.
While the Hotel Chocolat ostrich eggs are hugely expensive and very large, cheaper, standard giant eggs have also hit the shelves.
Thorntons are selling a 610g Marvellously Magnificent Easter Egg that can be personalised for a slightly more modest £25 — though this is still more than twice the price of some giant eggs.
The treat contains a staggering amount of calories (3,324) and a whopping 327.6g of sugar.
Supersized eggs made by Cadbury and Nestle come with a lower price tag, between £10 and £12.
But they all contain upwards of 300g of sugar — more than 10 days of recommended intake.
The biggest bargain offender calorie-wise is the Kit Kat Caramel Cookie Collision Incredible Easter Egg (556.2g, £12), which contains 2,926 calories and 304.6g of sugar.
Following closely behind, in terms of calories, is the Dairy Milk Ultimate Daim Easter Egg (542g, £12). This has a hefty 2,918 calories and 306g of sugar.
The most sugary bargain buy, containing 316g of sugar, is the Dairy Milk Ultimate Crunchie Bits Easter Egg (£12). This option also has 2,768 calories.
Dr Duane Mellor, one of Britain’s top dietary researchers, told MailOnline: ‘Although many of us are aware that eating too much chocolate is not a good idea, with large chocolate Easter eggs, this can be challenging even for those who consider they are normally able to say no.
‘It might be better to consider having smaller eggs of a good quality chocolate you can enjoy and be satisfied by small amounts.
‘With chocolate, the calories, fat and sugar are things we know about [and] are biologically driven to consume and enjoy, but too much can lead to negative feelings and guilt which are never helpful.’
Sarah Almond Bushell, a registered dietitian and founder of website The Children’s Nutritionist, told MailOnline: ‘In small amounts, sugar isn’t harmful.
‘But some of this year’s Easter eggs are so huge they exceed an average adult’s daily allowance by 13 times, and a child’s as much as 21 times.’
She added that too much sugar in children can encourage a preference for sweet foods, leading them to seek out more and more as they get older, as well as encouraging excess calorie consumption and causing poor dental health.
A spokesperson for Nestlé, which makes KitKat, Yorkie and Smarties eggs, said: ‘Our Easter Eggs are once-a-year treats which are often bought as gifts.
‘Their higher price point compared to our regular chocolate bars reflects the fact that they contain multiple portions for sharing or for enjoying over a longer period of time. Individual portion sizes are clearly printed on pack so that consumers can make an informed choice.
‘In recent years, Nestlé has reduced sugar across its entire confectionery portfolio by 10 per cent and we continue to invest in product development around the world as part of our aim to create a healthier portfolio across all of our food and drink products.’
A spokesperson for Mondelez International, which makes Daim, Cadbury Fingers and Crunchie eggs, said: ‘Our Easter eggs are intended as an occasional seasonal treat and are clearly labelled with guidance on an appropriate serving that can be consumed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
‘We offer a wide range of different products and sizes to suit the varied needs of our consumers, each of which have nutritional information on pack.
‘We also support our consumers by carrying the BeTreatwise initiative on pack, which is an industry programme aimed at helping consumers take a balanced approach to treats.’
A spokesperson for Mars Wrigley UK, which makes Maltesers, Bounty and Galaxy eggs, said: ‘These are seasonal products to enjoy with friends and family designed with gifting and sharing in mind.
‘We clearly display the nutritional information and recommended portion size on pack and the foil packaging of our eggs means they can be resealed and enjoyed over an extended period of time.’
THE WORST OFFENDERS
Patisserie Chocolate Ostrich Easter Egg
Hotel Chocolat Patisserie Chocolate Ostrich Easter Egg
Saturated Fat: 242g
Ingredients: Cocoa solids (cocoa mass, cocoa butter), sugar, full cream milk powder, cocoa biscuits (5%) (wheat flour, cocoa powder, sugar, butter (from milk), sunflower oil, salt, raising agent (ammonium bicarbonate), flavouring), pecan nut paste (2%), hazelnut paste, pecan nuts, caramel half-salted butter (glucose fructose syrup, sweetened condensed milk, half salted butter (from milk), sugar, salt), butter oil (from milk), almond nuts paste, milk caramel (sweetened condensed milk, glucose fructose syrup, sugar, flavouring), sweetened hazelnut paste (hazelnuts, sugar, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin)), skimmed milk powder, raspberry fruit compound (sugar, glucose syrup, raspberry puree, raspberry juice (from concentrate), thickener (pectin), lemon juice (from concentrate), natural colour (anthocyanin), flavouring), cherry fruit compound (sugar, glucose syrup, cherry puree, concentrated cherry juice, stabiliser (glycerol), flavouring, lemon juice (from concentrate), thickener (pectin), natural colour (anthocyanin)), peanut butter paste (peanuts, sea salt), vegetable fats (coconut, shea, sunflower), emulsifiers (soya lecithin, sunflower lecithin), glucose syrup, stabilisers (sorbitol, glycerol), walnut paste (walnuts, sunflower oil, citrus fibre, emulsifier (soya lecithin)), carrot concentrate (carrot), corn flakes (milled corn, sugar, malt flavouring (from barley) salt), shortbread biscuits (wheat flour, coconut oil, sugar, cocoa butter, wheat starch, raising agents (sodium bicarbonate, ammonium bicarbonate), salt), whipping cream (cream (from milk), stabiliser (carrageenan)), dextrose, caramel flakes (sugar, glucose syrup), dried carrot pieces (carrot pieces, sugar), caramelised sugar, whole milk, yoghurt powder (yoghurt powder from milk), sugar, acidity regulators (malic acid, citric acid), flavouring), lactose (from milk), molasses, natural colours (beetroot, paprika extract, carotene, annatto bixin), flavourings, cinnamon paste (glucose syrup, cinnamon, plain caramel, essential oil (cinnamon)), ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, sea salt, vanilla seeds, vanilla extract, essential oil (bitter orange).
Unbelievably Vegan* Ostrich Easter Egg
Hotel Chocolat Unbelievably Vegan* Ostrich Easter Egg
Saturated Fat: 250.8g
Ingredients: Cocoa solids (cocoa mass, cocoa butter), hazelnut flour (14%), sugar, cornflakes (3%) (maize, sugar, salt, malt extract (from barley)), shortbread biscuits (3%) (wheat flour, coconut oil, sugar, cocoa butter, wheat starch, raising agents (sodium bicarbonate, ammonium bicarbonate), salt), hazelnut paste, peanut butter paste (peanuts, sea salt), emulsifiers (sunflower lecithin, soya lecithin), caramel sauce (glucose syrup, brown sugar, vegetable fat (coconut), coconut milk powder, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin), salt, thickeners (corn starch, pectin)), roasted hazelnuts, raspberry compound (sugar, glucose syrup, raspberry puree, concentrated fruit juices (raspberry, lemon), thickener (pectin), natural colour (anthocyanin), flavouring), pecan nut paste, ginger pieces (dextrose, ginger, glucose syrup, sugar), roast split peanuts, stabilisers (sorbitol, glycerol), sunflower oil, raspberry juice concentrate, dextrose, cocoa powder, coconut flour, glucose syrup, flavourings, natural colours (beetroot, annatto bixin, paprika extract), sea salt, essential oil (valencian orange), molasses.
Dark Chocolate Ostrich Easter Egg
Hotel Chocolat Dark Chocolate Ostrich Easter Egg
Saturated Fat: 250.7g
Ingredients: Cocoa solids (cocoa mass, cocoa butter), sugar, crushed roasted almond nuts (5%), nibbed hazelnuts (4.5%), butter oil (from milk), stabilisers (sorbitol, glycerol), hazelnut paste, glucose syrup, whipping cream (cream (from milk), stabiliser (carrageenan), full cream milk powder, sweetened hazelnut paste (hazelnuts, sugar, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin)), almond nuts paste, skimmed milk powder, pistachio nuts paste (pistachio nuts, rapeseed oil), emulsifiers (soya lecithin, sunflower lecithin), rum, vegetable fats (coconut, shea, sunflower), dextrose, flavourings, gin, sour cherry concentrate, sea salt, cream (from milk), cocoa powder, concentrated whey (from milk), neutral alcohol, lactose (from milk), natural colours (beetroot, annatto bixin, carotene), acidity regulator (citric acid).
Thorntons Marvellously Magnificent Easter Egg
Thorntons Marvellously Magnificent Easter Egg
Saturated Fat: 120.8g
Ingredients: Sugar, Cocoa butter, Cocoa mass, Dried skimmed milk, Anhydrous milk fat, Dried whole milk, Emulsifier (Soya lecithin).
Kit Kat Caramel Cookie Collision Incredible Easter Egg
Kit Kat Caramel Cookie Collision Incredible Easter Egg
Saturated Fat: 94.4g
Ingredients: KitKat Chunky Caramel: Sugar, Glucose Fructose Syrup, Skimmed Milk Powder, Wheat Flour, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Vegetable Fats (Palm, Shea), Butterfat (Milk), Whey Powder Product (Milk), Glucose Syrup, Sweetened Condensed Milk (Milk, Sugar), Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder, Emulsifier (Lecithins), Salt, Raising Agent (Sodium Bicarbonate), Dried Whole Milk. KitKat Cookie Dough Eggs: Sugar, Skimmed Milk Powder, Vegetable Fats (Palm, Rapeseed, Sunflower), Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Butterfat (Milk), Whey Powder (Milk), Rice Flour, Emulsifier (Lecithins), Natural Flavouring, Corn Starch, Corn Flour, Corn Bran, Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder, Glucose Syrup, Thickener (Guar Gum), Natural Vanilla Flavouring, Raising Agent (Ammonium Bicarbonate), Salt, Flavouring. Milk Chocolate Egg: Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Dried Whole Milk, Cocoa Mass, Vegetable Fats (Palm, Rapeseed, Shea), Wheat Flour (contains Calcium, Iron, Thamin, Niacin), Whey Powder Product (Milk), Invert Sugar Syrup, Emulsifier (Lecithins), Starch, Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder, Raising Agents (Sodium Bicarbonate, Ammonium Bicarbonate), Salt, Natural Flavouring.
Dairy Milk Ultimate Daim Easter Egg
Dairy Milk Ultimate Daim Easter Egg
Saturated Fat: 95.6g
Ingredients: Milk chocolate egg shell made with Cadbury Dairy Milk and Daim pieces: Milk, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Vegetable Fats (Palm, Shea, Coconut), Cocoa Mass, Emulsifiers (E442, E476, Soya Lecithins), Blanched Almonds, Whey Powder (from Milk), Skimmed Milk Powder, Milk Fat, Whey Permeate Powder (from Milk), Sweetened Condensed Skimmed Milk, Flavourings, Salt, Glazing Agent (Gum Arabic). Cadbury Dairy Milk Daim sharing bar: Milk, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Vegetable Fats (Palm, Shea, Coconut), Cocoa Mass, Blanched Almonds, Sweetened Condensed Skimmed Milk, Emulsifiers (E442, E476, Soya Lecithins), Salt, Whey Powder (from Milk) Skimmed Milk Powder, Milk Fat, Whey Permeate Powder (from Milk), Flavourings.
Cadbury Fingers Chocolate Egg
Cadbury Fingers Chocolate Egg
Saturated Fat: 85g
Ingredients: Milk chocolate egg shell made with Dairy Milk Chocolate and shortcake biscuit pieces: Milk, Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Vegetable Fats (Palm, Shea, Rapeseed), Wheat Flour (with Calcium, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Emulsifiers (E442, E476), Invert Sugar Syrup, Tapioca Starch, Raising Agents (E503, E500), Salt, Flavourings. Cadbury Nibbly Fingers: Wheat Flour, Sugar, Vegetable Oils (Palm, Rapeseed), Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Skimmed Milk, Powder, Whey Permeate (from Milk), Milk Fat, Inverted Sugar Syrup, Emulsifiers (E442, E476), Salt, Raising Agents (Ammonium Carbonates, Sodium Carbonates), Flavourings.
|Brand||Product name||Calories (kcal)||Fat (g)||Saturated Fat (g)||Sugar (g)||Salt (g)||Price|
|Blond Chocolate with Chocolate Mini Eggs (300g)||1,755||119.7||72.6||139.2||0.5||£12|
|Milk Chocolate Layered Egg (345g)||2056||147.3||85.9||146.3||0.3||£12|
|Ultimate Belgian Dark Chocolate Nutty Egg (400g)||2376||177.2||94.8||103.2||0.1||£12|
|Dark Chocolate Layered Egg (345g)||2087||157.3||97.3||123.2||0.4||£12|
|White Chocolate Hedwig (340g)||1890||110.5||67.7||201.6||0.3||£12|
|Extremely Chocolatey Hot Cross Bun Egg (340g)||1843||105.1||63.6||187||0.1||£9|
|Extremely Chocolate Biscuity-Egg (370g)||1998||110.3||66.2||163.9||0.7||£9|
|Extra Special Raspberry & Marshmallow White Chocolate Easter Egg (400g)||2180||132||80||220||0.6||£7|
|Extra Special Extra Thick Honeycomb, Pretzel & Caramel Milk Choc Egg (400g)||2192||128||80||196||1.4||£7|
|Yorkie Raisin & Biscuit Chocolate Incredible Egg (522g including extras)||2777||145.6||79.5||309||1||£12|
|Smarties Milk Chocolate Incredible Easter Egg (470g)||2464||130.4||77.6||285.2||0.9||£12|
|Kit Kat Caramel Cookie Collision Incredible Easter Egg (556.2g)||2926||160.6||94.4||304.6||1.4||£12|
|After Eight Dark Mint Chocolate Premium Easter Egg (400g)||1968||93.2||53.6||148.8||0.08|
|Dairy Milk Ultimate Crunchie Bits Easter Egg (542g)||2768||136.3||78.3||316||1.9||£12|
|Dairy Milk Ultimate Daim Easter Egg (542g)||2918||166.9||95.6||306||1.7||£12|
|Cadbury Fingers Chocolate Egg (547g)||2859||154.1||85||266||1.8||£12|
|White Oreo Chocolate Easter Egg (499g)||2690||143.5||83.2||306||2.1||£12|
|Mini Eggs Easter Egg (507g)||2757||147.4||83.8||306||1.2||£12|
|Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut Ultimate Chocolate Egg (532g)||2788||156.3||85.7||298||1.2||£12|
|Cadbury Dairy Milk Orange Giant Buttons Easter Egg (410g)||2140||122.8||70.4||224||1||£10|
|Cadbury Dairy Milk Chunky Extra Thick Chocolate Easter Egg (400g)||2144||123||70.4||222||0.2||£10|
|Cadbury Dairy Milk Giant Buttons Easter Egg (419g)||2278||130.4||75.8||238||1||£10|
|Cadbury Dairy Milk Giant Chocolate Egg (515g)||2776||159.6||93.6||288||1.3||£10|
|Bounty Chocolate Giant Egg (494g)||2596||150.7||100.9||266||0.6||£12|
|Maltesers Crunchy Chocolate Giant Egg (496g)||2604||143.5||84.7||271.5||1.5||£12|
|Galaxy Cookie Crumble Easter Egg (500g)||2679||153||92.6||272||1.3||£12|
|Galaxy Enchanted Eggs Chocolate Giant Easter Egg (528g)||2761||149.7||89.8||313||1.5||£12|
|The Ostrich Classic Egg (1.04kg)||5845||404||239||391||2.5||£86|
|Just Milk extra Thick Egg (390g)||2243||161.1||90.9||147||0.8||£30|
|Extra Thick You Crack Me Up Easter Egg (395g)||2263||158.4||94.8||167.5||0.8||£30|
|Extra Thick Rocky Road to Caramel Easter Egg (490g)||2813||193.6||113.2||210.7||1||£30|
|Extra Thick Milk Chocolate Easter Egg (390g)||2243||161.1||90.9||147||0.8||£30|
|Extra Thick Patisserie Easter Egg (405g)||2329||167.7||93.6||154.7||0.8||£30|
|Extra Thick Dark Chocolate Easter Egg (375g)||2119||159.8||92.3||99.4||£30|
|Extra Thick Champagne Easter Egg (395g)||2196||145.8||90.9||174.8||0.4||£30|
|Patisserie Chocolate Ostrich Egg (1095g)||6009||449||242||406.2||2.2||£86|
|Extra Thick White Chocolate Egg (405g)||2402||171.3||105.7||177.5||0.8||£30|
|Extra Thick Your Eggsellency Easter Egg (380g)||2094||146.7||88.2||132.2||0.4||£30|
|Extra Thick Unbelievably Vegan* Easter Egg (375g)||2201||163.1||87.8||97.8||£30|
|Dark Chocolate Ostrich Easter Egg (1.09kg)||6257||487.2||250.7||256.2||1.1||£86|
|Unbelievably Vegan* Ostrich Easter Egg (1.1kg)||6,435||463.1||250.8||334.4||1.1||£86|
|Marvellously Magnificent Easter Egg (650g)||3324||196.4||120.8||327.6||1.3||£25|