Pesto is a real pest to our health – ex­perts

Cynon Valley - - YOUR VIEWS -

THE most pop­u­lar pesto sauces are 30 per cent saltier than sea­wa­ter... rais­ing chil­dren’s risk of heart dis­ease, strokes and high blood pres­sure, sci­en­tists warn.

Best­sellers Italia Or­ganic Veg­e­tar­ian Pesto No5 Basil and Italia Pesto No1 Clas­sic Basil con­tain an alarm­ing 3.3g per 100g. The prod­ucts con­tain two-and-a-half times times more salt than salted peanuts.

Con­sen­sus Ac­tion on Salt and Health (CASH) said what’s worse is lev­els in both have ac­tu­ally in­creased since they were last sur­veyed in 2009. Clas­sic Basil now has 18 per cent more. Each has over 1.5g of salt per serve – more than a McDon­ald’s Ham­burger.

They were also high in sat­u­rated fat, fur­ther en­dan­ger­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar health.

The CASH sur­vey of 75 pesto sauces us­ing the FoodSwitch UK smart­phone app found none could be con­sid­ered healthy.

The re­port said: “This could in­crease a child’s risk of de­vel­op­ing high blood pres­sure, strokes and heart at­tacks later in life. Pesto is of­ten added along­side other salty in­gre­di­ents, which can push up the to­tal salt con­tent of meals to over 50%of the max­i­mum daily rec­om­mended in­take.

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