Chinese meals contain half daily salt intake

Henrietta Strickland
March 13, 2018

Some 58% had more than three grams of salt per dish, half of the daily recommended maximum for an adult.

A McDonald's Big Mac only contains 2.3g salt, which is already one third of the recommended daily limit.

Salt warnings should be compulsory for Chinese takeaways and ready meals, health campaigners have said. When eaten with egg fried rice, which contains 5g of salt, the total salt content of the meal reaches 11.5g.

Your favourite Chinese takeaway meal could contain half your recommended salt allowance for the day. Soy sauces were by far the saltiest - on average being over five times saltier than seawater, with sides and dipping sauces in some cases adding almost 4g of salt per person to a meal.

Of the 141 ready meals analysed, 43% were deemed to be high in salt and would receive a red label on front of pack.

Action on Salt also examined the salt content of Chinese ready meals from popular supermarkets and found that some dishes had more than 4g of salt per pack.

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

Every 1g reduction in salt intake prevents 7,000 deaths, 4,000 of which are premature, from strokes and heart disease.

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.

This is the equivalent of five Big Macs - and getting near to acute toxic levels.

The Chinese Catering Association UK said it had been encouraging members to produce dishes with lower levels of salt.

"The lack of front-of- pack colour coded labelling on branded products makes it incredibly hard for consumers to make healthier choices and that is simply unacceptable".

Too much salt causes high blood pressure and leads to strokes and heart attacks.

Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at London's Queen Mary University and chairman of Action on Salt, called on health bodies to take immediate action.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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