Salt Awareness - Now that's SALTY!
13 January 2020 by Dan Fields
As 2018's salt awareness week draws to a close we here at GSN HQ have you covered for a one stop read for all of the headline making news and research that we have all been talking about this week, including how the most popular Chinese takeaway dishes pack more salt than a Big Mac!
Table salt, salt or sodium chloride no matter which way it is termed, salt is an essential micro-nutrient within the human diet which allows us to regulate bodily fluid however like all nutrients within our diet it must be consumed in moderation. In Fact we only need a very small amount to enable our body to function at optimal levels, 6g per day to be precise as recommended by the government which equates to a teaspoon, which may now have you thinking how much salt you have eaten today.
Action on salt has found that on average we Brits each around 8.1g of salt per day meaning that it is not uncommon for our diets to be low in salt, however it is all too common for us to consume too much.
Salt intake should be monitored and controlled from an early age, as it has scientifically been proven to promote cardiovascular disease risk markers which namely includes the development of high blood pressure a significant risk factor in cardiovascular disease; the worlds number one cause of morbidity.
With such understanding, salt intake is often referred to by experts as the silent killer as foods do not have to taste salty to be in the danger zone. In fact 75% of our salt intake comes from processed foods including ready meals and sauces and not matter whether our salt is Himalayan, pink, crystallised or flaked all salt specifically sodium impacts our bodies in the same ways with little extra benefit.
TIP: if you are looking to cut back on your salt intake and struggle with initial difference in flavour then do not worry, our taste buds adapt in just 3 weeks! In which time, experiment with herbs, spices and seasoning on your meals, there no time like the present!
The Action on Salt group has this week made headlines and called for a major clamp down and reduction in salt levels found within the nation's favourite takeaways and ready meals.
Whilst analysing 150 dishes from 6 Chinese restaurants, it was found that 97% of these had at least 2g of salt per dish whilst 53% contained more than 3g. Indeed beef in a black bean sauce with egg fried rice was the biggest culprit containing an astounding 11.5g of salt, which is almost 200% of our recommended daily allowance in one meal. Indeed the rice although had 4.4g which equates to around 10 bags of ready salted crisps. Whilst is is popular culture to mix dishes when choosing Chinese cuisine it would not be unreasonable to assume that a Chinese takeaway meal would see us alarmingly exceed our RDA in one sitting.
The group further brought the message home, analysing an additional 141 supermarket ready meals and finding that 43% of these where high in salt and worthy of a red label.
After feeling inspired, and bound to our duty of providing the nation with healthy, convenient delicious food, we here at GSN HQ picked up the gauntlet and decided to do our own research to enable you to enjoy those far east flavours without the guilt.
We compared the Action on Salt findings against our own Pot o Gold meals and found:
so what does this mean? Well the "takeaway" messages here at that you should closely moderate and take note of your salt intake, avoid too many unhealthy takeaways and ready meals and particularly avoid those red labels and.... that you can still enjoy the same great takeaway taste without the unhealthy side show by tucking into our highly convenient and healthy Pot o Gold meals.