Beware that cheese is loaded with unhealthy salt
Cheese remains loaded with unhealthy salt overall in spite of initiatives to lower the salt content of food. Too much salt is associated with high blood pressure which is a silent killer and other serious health problems. Therefore although cheese is generally considered to be a nutritious food it should not be considered a healthy food to eat as long as its salt content is high.
Cheese has turned out to be a major contributor to salt consumption
Researchers in Great Britain did a cross-sectional survey of salt content which is in cheese. Cheese has turned out to be a major contributor to salt consumption in the United Kingdom reported BMJ Open. The researchers investigated the salt content in cheese which is sold in United Kingdom supermarkets. They conducted a cross sectional survey in 2012 which included 612 cheeses which are available in United Kingdom supermarkets.
Cottage cheese has the lowest amount of salt
The researchers found that salt content in cheese was high. There was a large variation in salt content between different types of cheeses and within the same type of cheese found. Generally it was found that halloumi and imported blue cheese contained the highest amounts of salt. Cottage cheese was found to contain the lowest amount of salt.
The most popular and biggest selling cheese in the United Kingdom is cheddar and cheddar-style cheese. These cheeses made up the highest number of products in the analysis. Overall it was found that salt level was higher in branded in comparison with supermarket own brand cheddar and cheddar-style products.
It was concluded by the researchers that salt content in cheese in the United Kingdom is high. This was seen even though 84.5 percent of cheeses have already met their respective 2012 salt reduction targets. It is therefore clear that much larger reductions in the amount of salt which is added to cheese could be made. Therefore more challenging salt reduction targets need to be set.
Much tougher salt reduction targets for cheese are needed
Despite many cheese products meeting salt reduction targets cheese still remains laden with salt reports the BMJ in a discussion of this study. Clearly much tougher salt reduction targets for cheese are needed. This is important for health considerations of people who eat cheese.
Eating too much salt is simply bad for your health. A high consumption of dietary salt has been linked to high blood pressure which is a risk factor for many serious health conditions including:
2: Heart attacks
3: Heart failure
4: Kidney disease
Too much salt consumption is also associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer and osteoporosis, and has also been indirectly linked to obesity.
Salt reduction is recognized as being be one of the most cost effective ways to improve public health
Salt reduction in food is recognized widely as being be one of the most cost effective ways to improve public health. In fact at the 66th World Assembly all countries unanimously agreed to lower their salt intake by 30 percent towards a target of 5 g/day by 2025.
High salt content in cheeses in the United Kingdom is similar to those in the USA and other countries
The research authors wrote that their finding of a high salt content in cheeses which are sold in the United Kingdom is similar to those which are observed in the USA, Australia, France, Belgium, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, and South Africa. Targeting high levels of salt in cheese is seen as a global challenge.
An awareness of how dangerous consumption of too much salt can be for your health is essential to provoke initiatives to fight this problem. Findings that cheese is loaded with salt is alarming and should raise concerns about eating too much cheese in particular and other high salt containing foods. The idea to shoot for much more aggressive salt reduction targets in cheese and other foods has merit.