Chinese takeaways are so salty they need health warning

A display of Chinese take-out food and appropriate serving and eating items includes a Chinese-theme patterned bowl saucer and soup spoon condiments a teapot and tea and four take-out containers containing shrimp lo mein pork-fried

Action on Salt is calling on the Government to enforce stricter health labelling; force restaurants to put warnings on high-salt dishes; and set food manufacturers new salt reduction targets for ready meals. Results of the survey, which was released on Tuesday, revealed that the worst-offending Chinese takeaway dishes contain about the same amount of salt consumed in five McDonald's Big Macs.

The research also looked at supermarket ready meals and found that the saltiest Chinese dish was Slimming World's Chinese Style Banquet Rice, which contained 4.4g of salt per pack.

And out of 141 Chinese ready meals at top United Kingdom supermarkets tested by researchers, 43% were high in salt.

Some of these meals contain half of an adult's recommended daily allowance is only one dish.

The report, by campaign group Action on Salt, contained good news for fans of sweet and sour chicken, which was found to be the least salty dish, with around 2.3g of salt per portion. For example, Iceland's Takeaway Egg Fried Rice had 4.1g salt per 350g pack - more salt than 11 bags of ready salted crisps - compared to Tesco's Egg Fried Rice with 0.1g per 250g pack. Over half (58%) contained more than 3g of salt per dish - half of the recommended daily intake in the United Kingdom, 6g of salt (the World Health Organization recommends no more than 5g of salt).

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Main courses (such as beef in black bean sauce) topped the list, but accompanying dishes such as rice, spring rolls or prawn crackers can also add to the total salt quantity.

Too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which puts you at increased risk of health problems such as heart disease and stroke.

Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London and Chairman of Action on Salt, said reducing salt is the most cost-effective method of cutting deaths from strokes or heart disease annually.

Dr. Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England suggests that our salt consumption has dropped over the last decade, however, there are some salt-rich products and we can reduce the consumption of these kinds of products. "We are now calling on PHE to take immediate action".

"We've been very clear with the food industry on the importance of meeting the 2017 salt targets".


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