Salty salads that put dieters at risk
SOME salads contain almost as much salt as an adult’s recommended intake for an entire day, a survey has found.
More than a third of those tested by campaign group Action on Salt contained two grams or more.
The average salt content of the salads bought from restaurants, sandwich and coffee shops and fast food outlets has increased by 13 per cent since 2014 to 1.86 grams.
The group said the findings highlighted a distinct lack of commitment from the food industry to reduce the amount of salt.
AoS nutritionist Sarah Alderton said: “Salads are typically considered to be a healthy option but restaurants and retailers are continuing to add unnecessarily high amounts of salt and saturated fat to their salads and putting the health of customers in jeopardy. We want the food industry to be transparent by displaying clear, colour-coded nutrition information on front of pack or at the point of sale to help consumers make a more informed decision.”
Guidelines say adults should eat no more than six grams of salt a day, about a teaspoon. But McDonald’s Grilled Chicken and Bacon Salad with Balsamic Style Dressing had the same amount of salt as its Cheeseburger, AoS said.
Pizza Express’s Grand Chicken Caesar Salad with Dough Sticks had 5.3 grams of salt. Even salads branded as healthy contained high amounts of salt, such as Benugo’s Supercharged Omega Salmon with 3.5 grams. Of supermarket salads tested, Marks & Spencer’s Teriyaki Chicken Sticky Rice Salad with a soy and wasabi dressing was the saltiest with 3.5 grams per pack. Only 17 per cent of those tested were low in salt.
Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and chairman of AoS, said: “It’s shocking to see that certain restaurants and supermarkets have failed to take responsibility to reduce salt.
“Reducing salt is the most costeffective measure to reduce the number of people dying or suffering from stroke or heart disease.”
M&S said: “Our wide variety of salads include some recipes that use ingredients like soy sauce which have a naturally higher salt content. Healthier options are clearly labelled with our Eat Well logo.”