A survey conducted by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) of 270 salad and pasta bowls from supermarkets and high street cafes and fast food chains, found a ‘surprising’ level of ‘unnecessary’ salt.
EAT’s Spicy Crayfish Noodle Salad was found to contain the highest level of salt on the high street, with 3.51g per portion – more than half the recommended daily allowance of 6g.
Pret a Manger’s Super (Duper) Houmous Salad with French Dressing was the second worst salad, containing 3.2g of salt per portion.
More salt than crisps
Professor Graham McGregor of the Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine, said the fact that only six salads contained less salt than a packet of crisps was ‘absurd’.
“Clearly the manufacturers still have a long way to go if we are to reduce our salt intake to 6g a day and save the maximum number of lives,” he said. “Every gram of salt removed from our diet is estimated to prevent 6,000 deaths from heart attacks, heart disease and strokes per year, creating potential healthcare savings of £1.5billion per year.”
It is thought the majority of salt found in salads is hidden in dressings, many of which may be bought pre-made and added by caterers before serving.
Chefs and caterers are advised to check the salt content of dressings they use.
Last February over a third of restaurants investigated by the Food Standards Agency were found to serve meals containing more than 6g of salt, an adult’s RDA, with Old Orleans’ Chicken Fajitas the worst offender, containing 8.8g of salt per serving.