Many sauces contain significant amounts of salt
When things have to go fast when eating, many people use so-called finished products. These are usually not really healthy because they contain too much salt. Experts examined the amount of salt concentration in sauces with worrying results:
- Ready-made sauces from the supermarket contain too much salt.
- Many people consume more than twice the recommended amount of salt every day.
- Most of those affected are not aware of the amount of salt in ready-made sauces.
- Too much salt increases blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease.
In their current investigation, the scientists at the George Institute for Global Health found that ready-made sauces often contain a lot of salt, which is extremely harmful to health. The experts published a report on the results of their study.
Researchers examined 2,215 sauces
For their investigation, the Australian doctors analyzed a total of 2,215 sauces for cooking, which were sold in supermarkets between 2010 and 2017. These sauces had one major problem in common: they contained too much salt.
Consumers should be informed about the amount of salt in ready-made sauces
The results were released to support a new campaign called Unpack the Salt. This campaign is run by the Heart Foundation and is designed to raise consumer awareness of the problem of too much salt in food. People absolutely need to be aware of the health risk from salt in food, the researchers say.
Most people consume too much salt every day
The scientists found that many pasta sauces, Indian and Asian pastes, chilled and powdered sauces for casseroles exceeded the maximum recommended daily salt intake of the World Health Organization (WHO), which is five grams. A significant proportion of people in Australia consume almost twice as much salt a day, 75 percent of which comes from packaged foods, the doctors explain.
These products contain a lot of salt
There was a big difference in the amount of salt contained between different brands of tomato-based sauces, some containing 90 times more salt than others, the authors explain. Salinity was highest in powdered sauces used as part of meals such as casseroles, curries and pasta dishes. Some contained almost half of the recommended daily salt intake for an entire family in a single meal. Curry pastes also contain high salt concentrations, some 20 times more salt than others. On average, the salinity of uncooled sauces from the supermarket rose by 29 percent from 2010 to 2017.
The maximum recommended amount of salt is often exceeded
The report showed excessive salt levels in cooking sauces and huge fluctuations in salt levels from product to product that put consumers' health at risk, says Clare Farrand of the George Institute for Global Health. "A fresh pasta sauce from the supermarket refrigerator contains almost a third of the daily salt intake in the sauce alone, add cheese and you increase the family's salt intake well above the maximum recommended daily," added Farrand in a press release.
Check the salt content on the label
Sauce mixes are often used to cook meals for the whole family. However, many people should not be aware of how salty such sauces really are. The label should be checked to determine sauces with lower salt levels. It is even better to make the sauce entirely yourself, with as little salt as possible, the experts advise.
Too much salt affects blood pressure
The relationship between a diet high in salt and high blood pressure is clear. Hypertension in turn leads to an increased risk of heart disease.
“High blood pressure causes 32 percent of heart disease and stroke in Australia, and there are currently almost six million Australian high blood pressure adults. That's over a third of our adult population, ”Kellie-Ann Jolly of the Heart Foundation said in the George Institute for Global Health press release. When you cook with some of these sauces, you eat a lot more than the recommended amount of salt per serving. This is alarming given that we need to encourage people to eat less salt, not more, the expert adds.
Manufacturers of pasta sauces reduce the salt content
It is vital to raise consumer awareness of the dangers of high levels of salt in packaged foods so that they can make healthy choices for themselves and their families. (as)