Too much salt in many foods



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Finished products in particular have too high a salt content

Many foods contain too much salt, especially ready-made meals are often very difficult - this is the result that the Consumer Center NRW has now come to again as part of an examination of 100 commercially available frozen pizzas.

Not more than 6 grams of salt a day
Salt is an important part of the diet, because it not only serves to flavor food, but also supplies the body with important minerals - but most people consume far too much salt: According to one, adults and children aged 11 and over should Recommendation of the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) "Consume a maximum of 6 grams of table salt per day", however, according to the NRW consumer center, men in Germany would average an average of 9 and women would get 6.5 grams of salt daily, the values ​​for people who frequent often eat ready-made products and fast food, usually would be significantly higher. However, there are considerable health risks here: Too much salt favors high blood pressure, which over time damages important organs such as the heart, brain, kidneys and blood vessels and can lead to life-threatening diseases such as heart attacks or strokes , according to the consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia, "salt is also considered a" probable risk factor for the development of stomach cancer ".

Use low-salt products when shopping In order to minimize the risk of dangerous cardiovascular diseases, it is essential to ensure healthy salt consumption. Since there is usually too much salt in ready meals, the Consumer Advice Center in North Rhine-Westphalia recommends that you use products that are low in salt. However, this is often not so easy, because instead of salt, many packaging only states the sodium content, which means that the layperson cannot immediately tell whether the food is high or low in salt. Instead, according to the consumer advice center, the consumer would first have to multiply the sodium specification in grams by the factor 2.54, which would result in the exact amount of sodium chloride in a product. An end to this cumbersome calculation is not yet in sight: Because only from the end of 2016 all calories and nutritional information must be shown on food packs, then the salt content must not be missing, but manufacturers who voluntarily state the salt content must do so make a binding declaration from the end of 2014.

Food additives currently have to be identified. In comparison to salt, however, other ingredients must already be declared on food packaging - for example, food additives such as colors, preservatives and antioxidants, to which various so-called "E numbers" are assigned. Because even if these substances are permitted according to European guidelines, they can still lead to allergic reactions or digestive problems and must therefore be understandable for the consumer.

Carefully study the nutritional information on packaging However, if you want to avoid excessive salt consumption, the Consumer Advice Center in North Rhine-Westphalia advises you to study the nutritional information on packaging carefully and to make sure that the sodium value per 100 grams does not exceed 0.59 grams - because converted this would be 1.5 grams on salt. In principle, children should also ensure that low-salt products are bought - the consumer advice center recommends the so-called “traffic light check card” from the consumer advice centers. The traffic light check card therefore helps to estimate how high the salt content of a food is - for example, for a 100 gram portion, 0.3 gram of salt is in the green, i.e. acceptable range, but 0.3 to 1.5 Gram of table salt is already switched to "yellow" and if more than 1.5 grams of salt are switched to a warning red. A pizza with 350 grams should therefore not contain more than 5.3 grams of salt - which is often not the case with pizza with meat, because “Pizza salami or pizza specials with salami, ham and mushrooms tend to contain more controversial spices as vegetarian options, ”says the consumer center in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Assistance with purchasing through GDA industrial labeling The GDA (Guideline Daily Amount) industrial labeling, which can be found on many products, also provides additional assistance with purchasing - because here the percentage of nutrients in a portion of the recommended daily amount is shown. Even if the value refers to the sodium content, this also applies to the salt content, according to the consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia: “With the percentages, products from different manufacturers or brands can be compared with each other. B. to find the salami pizza, in which the least salt is still. Basically, however, it must be ensured that the manufacturer specifies realistic portion sizes, ”the headquarters recommended. (No)

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