Salty burgers not only in New Zealand



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The saltyest burgers are eaten in New Zealand

It is well known that fast food contains a lot of salt. However, Australian researchers have now discovered that the amount varies greatly from country to country. They examined certain fast food dishes from six major international suppliers in Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The saltyest burgers are on the table in New Zealand.

Fast food chains could reduce the salinity of their food
Elizabeth Dunford of The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney and her colleagues uncovered that fast food providers salt their dishes to varying degrees in different countries. In the journal “Canadian Medical Association Journal”, the scientists write that this proves that the fast food chains can have an influence on the salt content and can contribute to a healthier diet by reducing the amount of salt. A high salt content in food leads to an increase in blood pressure and therefore increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The international research team examined the salinity of 2,124 dishes from six large international fast food chains in Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, France and the USA. This was based on information from the providers, which included Subway, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s. The researchers chose these fast food chains because they are the largest transnational providers of their kind.

Fast food is too salty and leads to high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. Statistical analysis includes products such as burgers, chicken nuggets, French fries, sandwiches and salads. The researchers identified McDonald’s chicken nugges in the United States with 1.6 grams of salt per 100 grams of product, which was two and a half times the salt content of the same dish in the UK (0.6 grams per 100 grams of product). In the case of spiced breakfast ingredients such as ham, the salt content in the USA was particularly high at 1.8 grams per 100 grams of product. For comparison, this was 1.4 grams in Great Britain and 1.1 grams in New Zealand. Another result of the analysis showed that Pizza Hut sandwiches are on average 70 percent saltier than those of the competitor Subway. The saltiest burgers are served in New Zealand. They contain an average of 1.4 grams per 100 grams of product. In the United States and the United Kingdom, burgers have salinity levels of 1.3 and 1.1 grams, respectively.

The scientists assume that the differences in salinity from the fast food suppliers are not accidental or production-related but are deliberate. Dunford refers to previous studies that had shown that the amount of salt in food could be reduced bit by bit without consumers noticing it. You would gradually get used to it. The fast food providers would make a contribution to healthier nutrition.

Lower salinity could save thousands of lives As early as 2010, US researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that less salt in food could save thousands of lives each year. You write that people in the United States would consume a particularly large amount of salt. A daily dose reduced by three grams could avoid 44,000 to 92,000 deaths per year, said Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo from the University of California in San Francisco and her colleagues. Doctors estimated 54,000 to 99,000 fewer acute heart attacks, 60,000 to 120,000 fewer new chronic heart diseases, and 32,000 to 66,000 fewer strokes per year. According to researchers, this could save the US healthcare system $ 10 to $ 24 billion annually.

If children and adolescents start reducing their salt intake early on, the risk of later cardiovascular diseases can be significantly reduced, experts say. However, this does not mean that older people no longer have to pay attention to it. In the age groups 35 to 50, the risk of heart disease is still reduced by 30 to 43 percent due to the reduced salt consumption, as Bibbins-Domingo and her team found. Statistically, that would be 2.7 to 3.9 million fewer hypertension patients. However, the positive factor of reduced salt consumption decreases with increasing age, because then there are additional risk factors that did not exist at a young age.

Lowering high blood pressure through a low-salt and low-fat diet High blood pressure, also known as arterial hypertension, is a disease in which the blood pressure of the arterial vascular system is chronically increased. In the further course, it leads to coronary heart diseases, i.e. diseases of the coronary arteries, kidney damage, heart attacks and strokes. By changing their lifestyle, those affected can make a significant contribution to improving their health. Hypertension patients should definitely give up smoking, reduce their excess weight and switch to a healthy, low-fat diet. Mediterranean food, which contains a lot of fruit and vegetables, whole grain cereals, low-fat milk products, little lean meat and fish and always a little olive oil, is particularly suitable. (ag)

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Consumer protection: Happy meal ban makes sense

Image: Thommy Weiss / pixelio.de

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