More Salt than a Big Mac

A popular Chinese takeaway dish contains five times more salt than a Big Mac, experts have warned.

Almost all dishes tested at six London restaurants by researchers at Queen Mary Hospital had 2g of salt, and three in five 3g or more.It meant having a main and a side dish would contain more salt than the recommended daily limit of 6g.

But Beef in black bean sauce is the worst offender with more than 6g of salt per serving - soaring to a staggering 11.5g when teamed with egg fried rice.

Meanwhile, a Big Mac from McDonald's contains just 2.3g of salt - around a third of the recommended healthy limit.

Too much salt causes high blood pressure and leads to strokes and heart attacks - but out of 141 Chinese ready meals tested, 43 per cent were high in salt.

Mhairi Brown, of World Action on Salt & Health, said health chiefs “should consider warning labels on high salt dishes.”

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.

Some supermarket meals contained more salt than two store-bought Pizza Express Margherita Pizzas AND certain rice dishes have more salt than 11 bags ready salted crisps.

When it comes to ready meals, the saltiest Chinese dish was Slimming World’s Chinese Style Banquet Rice with 4.40g salt per 550g pack – that’s more salt than two store-bought Pizza Express Margherita Pizzas.

Professor Graham MacGregor, of Queen Mary University of London and chairman of Action on Salt, said: “Salt is the forgotten killer as it puts up our blood pressure, leading to tens of thousands of unnecessary strokes, heart failure and heart attacks every year.

“Reducing salt is the most cost effective measure to reduce the number of people dying or suffering from strokes or heart disease. We are now calling on Public Health England to take immediate action.”


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