Too much salt in many foods
Especially finished products have too high a salt content
Many foods contain too high an amount of salt, especially ready-made meals often have it in them - this is the result again for the Verbraucherzentrale NRW as part of an investigation of 100 commercially available frozen pizzas.
Not more than 6 grams of salt daily
Salt is an important part of the diet, because it not only serves to spice up food, but also provides the body with important minerals - but most people consume far too much salt: So should adults and children from 11 years, according to a Recommendation of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) „Take no more than 6 grams of table salt daily“, Nevertheless, according to the NRW Consumer Center, men in this country would average 9 and women 6.5 grams of salt a day, although the values for those who often frequently eat ready-made products and fast foods would generally be much higher. However, there are significant risks to health: too much salt promotes hypertension, which over time can damage important organs such as the heart, brain, kidneys and blood vessels, leading to life-threatening illnesses such as heart attacks or strokes , in addition, according to the Salzkammergut NRW as salt „probable risk factor for gastric cancer“.
When shopping on low-salt products resort
In order to minimize the risk of dangerous cardiovascular diseases, it is essential to ensure healthy salt intake. Since especially in ready meals usually too much salt is included, recommends the consumer center NRW, therefore, necessarily resort to lower-salt products. But this is often not so easy, because instead of salt on many packaging only the sodium content indicated, so the layman could not immediately recognize whether it is now a food with much or little salt. Instead, according to the Consumer Center, the consumer would first have to multiply the sodium in grams by a factor of 2.54, which would result in the exact amount of sodium chloride in a product. An end to this cumbersome calculation is not yet in sight: For only from the end of 2016, all calorie and nutrition information must be indicated on food packages, then the salt content must not be missing, manufacturers who already specify the salt content before, but must already declare binding from the end of 2014.
Food additives must currently be identified
Compared to salt, however, other ingredients must already be declared binding on food packaging - for example, food additives such as colorants, preservatives and antioxidants, which are given a variety of so-called "food additives" „E-numbers“ assigned. Even if these substances are permitted under European directives, they can still lead to allergic reactions or digestive problems and must therefore be comprehensible to the consumer.
Study nutritional information carefully on packaging
However, if you want to avoid excessive salt consumption, the Verbraucherzentrale NRW gives the advice to carefully study the nutritional information on packaging and make sure that per 100 grams of sodium does not exceed 0.59 grams - because converted to salt this would be 1 , 5 grams. For children, in principle, care should be taken to ensure that low-salt products are purchased - here, the consumer center recommends the so-called „Traffic Light Check Card“ the consumer centers. The traffic light checklist therefore helps to estimate how high the salt content of a food is - for example, for a 100-gram serving, 0.3 grams of salt are in the green, that is acceptable, range of 0.3 to 1.5 Grams of cooking salt already on „yellow“ and switch over to a warning red if there is more than 1.5 grams of salt. So should a pizza with 350 grams therefore contain no more than 5.3 grams of salt - which, however, especially in pizza with meat is often not the case, because „Pizza Salami or Pizza Specials with salami, ham and mushrooms tend to contain more controversial seasoning than vegetarian ones“, so the consumer center NRW.
Assistance in purchasing through industrial designation GDA
The GDA (Guideline Daily Amount) industrial label, which can be found on many products, also provides additional help with purchasing - as it shows the percentage of nutrients in a portion based on the recommended daily amount. Even though the value refers to the sodium content, this also applies to the salt content, according to the Verbraucherzentrale NRW: „With the percentages, products from different manufacturers or brands can be compared with each other to z. To find the salami pizza in which even the least salt is. In principle, however, care must be taken to see whether the manufacturer indicates realistic portion sizes“, so the recommendation of the headquarters. (No)
Image: Salih Ucar