Too much salt in ready meals
Processed foods contain too much salt
The salinity in many processed foods is clearly too high, according to a recent report by Stiftung Warentest. The salt is often in products that taste little salty and are therefore not recognized by consumers as saline foods. For the health of the consumption of too much salt can have serious long-term consequences, warns the Stiftung Warentest.
Adults should consume about six grams of salt at most per day, which is about the same as a teaspoon, according to the recommendation of the German Nutrition Society (DGE). However, most Germans exceed this recommended daily allowance significantly, thus exposing themselves to unnecessary health risks. It trickles „ most of the salt does not come from the consumer's hand, but comes from processed food“, reports the „Stiftung Warentest“. In a recent test, the Foundation has therefore identified the most saline foods to give consumers the ability to better control their salt intake.
Salt consumption of Germans too high
The average salt consumption in this country with 6.5 grams daily in women and nine gram daily in men well above the recommended maximum daily dose, reports the Stiftung Warentest. But consumers have few options to directly regulate their salt intake, since only 20 percent of their daily intake of them themselves are added to the food, as the result of the current test. As a result, as much as 80 percent of the salt taken in comes from already processed foods, which are often not even recognizable for their high salt content. The Stiftung Warentest has 74 processed foods such as „Baked rolls, fish fingers, smoked salmon, red cabbage and frozen pizza“ examined and thereby found a frighteningly high salt content.
Biggest salt pictures about rolls and bread
According to Stiftung Warentest, Germans are by far the most salted with bread and rolls. Almost a third of the daily salt consumed in the baked goods. For example, a baking roll containing more than one gram of salt, two slices of toast after all 0.8 grams, reports the Stiftung Warentest. If the topping is added, the recommended maximum daily dose of six grams may sometimes be reached at breakfast. To the „salt bombs“ according to the Stiftung Warentest, the ready meals count as well. So a serving of noodles contains around 3.5 grams of salt. Whole five grams of salt come together in a frozen pizza, which after the pizza, the recommended maximum daily dose of DGE would be almost reached. According to Stiftung Warentest, the fish products contained an extraordinary amount of salt. For example, with just one portion of matjes fillet, just under eight grams of salt are added to the organism, which is well above the recommended maximum daily salt intake.
Health consequences of too high salt consumption
For consumers, this salt overdose may have devastating consequences, as the salt can cause long-term constrictions of the blood vessels, which in turn cause hypertension. This also increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, kidney disease threaten, as the organs are simply overwhelmed with the degradation of the salt. An excessive intake of salt tends to shorten the overall life, according to nutritionists and medical researchers. People with a weakened cardiovascular system should be extra careful here. Against this background, the high salt content was tested in the „food on wheels“ extremely critical. According to Stiftung Warentest, the food delivered to nursing homes also contained the recommended maximum daily dose of six grams of salt in one portion of five of the six menus examined.
Alternatives to the salt bombs
The Stiftung Warentest also names possible alternatives to the countless salt bombs. For example, oatmeal, muesli or, of course, fresh fruit are almost salt-free. The Stiftung Warentest also recommends using curry, dill or coriander for seasoning instead of salt. Again, a taste-enhancing effect similar to salt is achieved because the essential oils of the spices give the food extra flavor. In addition, consumers should specifically select fresh, unprocessed and non-spiced foods when shopping, Stiftung Warentest continues. With prepared meals in the restaurant or „food on wheels“ should not be salted if possible. However, consumers should not overdo it with the waiver of salt, since the human organism relies on the components contained sodium and chloride. So salt promotes the function of the nerves and helps to regulate the water balance. The daily consumption should therefore be according to the recommendation of the German Nutrition Society between three and four grams.
Lack of labeling of salt content of food
Since the salt content of processed foods is currently often not specified, consumers often lack the information they need when shopping. Only the expulsion of the contained sodium (Na) is mandatory. Theoretically, however, consumers can also calculate how much sodium chloride a food actually contains based on their sodium content. By multiplying the amount of sodium with 2.5, the salt content can be determined. For reasons of simplification Stiftung Warentest also offers one „salt computer“ Not only can the salt content be calculated, but it also reflects the proportion of the recommended maximum daily dose in percent.
From 2016, consumers can hope for a clearer labeling of the salt content of the food, as companies will then be required to provide a new nutritional label and also indicate the amount of salt they contain. For consumers, a clear designation of the salinity would bring the advantage that they can capture this without mental arithmetic at first glance. Comparability would increase and consumers would be better able to control their salt intake. The new labeling requirement also creates an incentive for companies in the food industry to salt their products less, according to experts. Until then, however, customers should always have a calculator at hand whenever they are shopping - or they should train their minds accordingly. (Fp)
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Picture credits: Berwis