Think salads are the healthy option? One in ten sold on the high street has more salt than a McDonald's Big Mac, according to a new study…
A tenth of salads sold on the high street, and which many women choose as a healthy or even diet option, contain more salt than a Big Mac, a survey has found.
Shockingly, 98% contain more salt than a packet of crisps. The worst offender, a spicy crayfish noodles salad from Eat, had 3.51g of salt – far more than the 2.1g in a Big Mac.
The other saltiest salads from high street cafes and fast food outlets are Pret’s Super (Duper) Humous Salad (3.2g), KFC’s Zinger Salad with dressing (3.1g) and its Original Recipe Chicken salad with dressing (2.9g), and McDonald‘s Crispy Chicken and Bacon Salad with dressing (2.6g).
But many supermarket salads are also high in salt. Among them, Marks & Spencer had seven of the 10 saltiest. Top of the list was its Taste of Asia salad (2.83g), containing almost as much salt as six packets of crisps.
Adults are advised to eat no more than 6g of salt a day – about a teaspoonful – to minimise the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease, according to the Food Standards Agency.
The findings emerged after campaign group Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) tested 270 salad and pasta dishes available on the high street. ‘It is absurd that only six salads contain less salt than a packet of crisps,’ said Cash chairman Prof Graham MacGregor.
Every gram of salt cut from our diet is estimated to prevent 6,000 deaths a year from heart attacks, heart disease and strokes, creating potential healthcare savings of £1.5billion a year, he added.
CASH campaign manager Katharine Jenner said: ‘Consumers often feel bloated and sluggish, symptoms of water retention, which can be caused by the hidden salt in these salads.’
However, there was some good news, as average salt content in supermarket salads was found to have fallen by 23 per cent compared with 2005.