Too much harmful salt in ready meals
Too much salt in ready meals: The consumer center warns of too high salt content of the ready meals. Too much salt damages your health.
Ready meals contain too much salt. The consumer center of North Rhine-Westphalia has sampled the salt content of 103 microwave products and warns the consumers about their regular consumption in view of the results. Even a dish often contained the recommended total daily amount of salt.
Most of the products without specific information
103 ready meals for the microwave had examined the consumer center North Rhine-Westphalia in August and September with respect to their salinity in detail. The food manufacturers did not make it easy for them, because on only six ready meals, the amount of salt was explicitly stated. For 84 microwave dishes, on the other hand, only the sodium content as an indication of the amount of salt was present on the packaging. Thirteen of the examined ready meals did not show the sodium content or the amount of salt, so that the consumers have no chance to get information about the salt content of the products.
But this is by no means unlawful, because in the European Union, the amount of salt in processed food has not yet been indicated on the packaging. For example, the majority of manufacturers state the amount of salt in the form of sodium. Sodium is a chemical constituent of the salt to determine the real salinity, but the sodium value must be multiplied by a factor of 2.54. Since this is not known to most consumers, the high salt content of the products seems to them relatively low. The consumer center North Rhine-Westphalia criticized this common practice of food manufacturers as "not consumer friendly and highly questionable".
Two thirds of the daily amount of salt in a dish
That the manufacturers do not usually hang the salinity of their products on the big bell has good reason. For example, according to the Consumer Center, the processed meals analyzed contained on average 4.35 grams per plate dish. For example, a plate dish has already provided more than two-thirds of the recommended daily allowance of six grams for adults, according to the Consumer Center experts. When you consume some products, the recommended daily amount of salt is even exceeded. This is threatening, according to the consumer protection experts, especially for older and overweight people, as a high salt intake „In Germany, each inhabitant consumes about 16 grams of table salt per day, but only about half of it is consumed and the other half is lost with the cooking water or leftovers Indeed, according to several studies, between 6 and 6.4 grams of salt are taken in women and between 8.2 and 8.5 grams in men.
Pay attention to percentages
For consumers, the consumer advocates recommend to pay attention to the percentage next to the sodium content, which indicates the sodium content. According to the consumer information center, this should only be slightly higher than the corresponding percentage next to the calories. For products that are sold entirely without salinity, consumers should completely abstain, according to the recommendation of the experts. Consumers need to be aware that regular consumption of ready-to-eat products such as goulash or sliced meats in savory sauce will result in excessive salt intake, the Consumer Department said. Also, various media reports have recently suggested that ready meals are generally usually full of additives and flavors to offset the loss of taste in the manufacturing process. The much too high salt content of most products, which has now been determined by the consumer advice center of North Rhine-Westphalia, actually fits in well with the picture and can hardly surprise critical consumers. (fp, 27.10.2010)
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Image: Sybille Daden