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Hidden salt in healthy salads

Lana Bandoim's picture
Healthy Salad

A new study has found that hidden salt in prepared salads can get dangerously close to the daily recommended values. Research, from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine reveals that chain food restaurants often sell salads with high levels of sodium, and they are not the only culprits. Although consumers believe they are getting a healthy meal option at grocery stores or restaurants, they may actually be ingesting too much sodium.

Salt in prepared salads

Prepared and prepackaged salads sold at restaurants and stores in the U.K. were included in the study, but the results can be applied on a global level. The Consensus Action on Salt & Health (CASH) found too much salt in 77 percent of the products tested. Some of the salads had more salt than a big mac burger. For example, the McDonald’s crispy chicken and bacon salad was one of the items that had more salt than a McDonald’s burger.

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From small restaurants to large fast food chains, the study found sodium content in salads that shocked consumers. Hidden beneath the lettuce, tomatoes and onions is salt that may be harmful to people with high blood pressure. Researchers recommend that companies continue to reduce the sodium content in their products and clearly label the amounts. Meanwhile, consumers should be checking their food to see how it relates to the daily recommended values for nutrients.

The simple solution

The simple solution to high sodium levels in prepared salads is to make your own meals and adjust the salt levels to fit your needs. Unfortunately, convenience food is still a popular choice, and consumers rarely have the time to check nutritional values on a quick meal they are grabbing from a restaurant or grocery store. This is why researchers are encouraging companies to change sodium levels on their own.

Image: Fae/Wikimedia Commons