High blood pressure: Salty sausages could contribute to risk of stroke and heart disease
High blood pressure affects a shocking 16 million people in the UK, and there are millions of people still undiagnosed.
A poor diet high in salt is thought to be one of the major risk factors by experts.
A new report has revealed that many supermarket sausages contain dangerously high levels of salt.
The Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), which is based at Queen Mary University of London, suggested that a sausage sandwich made at home could have over two-thirds the maximum daily adult salt intake of 6g – more than a double cheeseburger and fries.
Last year scientists claimed that processed meats are linked to cancer, but do sausages cause cancer? A study showed one type may still pose a risk.
High blood pressure: A new report has called out certain supermarket sausages
Researchers revealed the average salt content of sausages sold today is 1.3g per 100g, which could contribute to high blood pressure
Researchers revealed the average salt content of sausages sold today is 1.3g per 100g, or 1.16g of salt per two sausages.
They singled out Richmond 12 Skinless Pork Sausages and Richmond 8 Thick Pork Sausages as having some of the highest levels of salt per 100g at 2.3g and 2.2g respectively.
In response to the report a spokesperson for Richmond said: “We pride ourselves in making products that do not compromise on the great taste that our customers love, and continue to recommend that these products are consumed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.”
Close behind were ASDA Extra Special 6 Bacon & Maple Syrup Pork Sausages at 2.1g per 100g and HECK Chicken Italia Chipolatas at 1.9g.
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High blood pressure: There are 16 million people in the UK who suffer
Of the findings, a HECK spokeswoman said: “Our focus has been on lowering fat content without compromising taste but we have now turned our attention to the salt and you will see this reducing over time as we replace our packaging – we have done trials with miso but have decided against using it in our sausages as it is an allergen.
An ASDA spokesperson responded: “Our range of sausages is compliant with the Government’s salt guidelines, but our customers probably won’t be surprised to discover that our bacon and maple syrup sausages have a slightly higher salt content than average.
“However, we’re pleased that the report also shows that we also offer two of the least salty sausages in this study – meaning whatever their tastes, our customers can find a banger to suit at Asda.”
The report also highlighted sausages containing less than a gram of salt per 100g.
These include ASDA Extra Special 6 Lincolnshire Pork Sausages, ASDA Butcher’s Selection 12 British Pork Sausages and Iceland 6 Outdoor Bred Cumberland Premium Sausages.
Additionally, The Co-operative Irresistible 6 Sweet Chilli Sausages and Lidl Deluxe 6 Bramley Apple British Pork Sausages were also noted to have a healthier salt content.
High blood pressure: Certain veggie sausages had more salt than half a pizza
Researchers also looked at vegetarian sausages, and discovered that meat free options were not always better in terms of salt levels.
They discovered that two Quorn 4 Best of British Sausages contained more salt than half an individual margarita pizza from Pizza Hut.
In reaction to the research, a spokesperson for Quorn said: “Quorn produces a range of sausages, with its bestselling Quorn Sausages being low in salt and highlighted on the front of pack.
“The salt content is 1.2g per 100g for 336g of Quorn frozen sausages and 1.1g per 100g for 250g Quorn chilled sausages, making both options a healthy source of protein.
“The range featured by CASH is Quorn’s Best of British Sausages which offers slightly more indulgent sausages.
“Whilst they are higher in salt, as clearly marked on pack, they are still low in saturated fat.”
High blood pressure: Too much salt in the diet is one of the major risk factors
Professor Graham MacGregor, from Queen Mary University of London and chairman of CASH, said high salt levels in diets could lead to thousands of deaths from unnecessary strokes and heart attacks every year.
“The UK has led the world on salt reduction but this survey clearly shows that many companies are not cooperating with the current voluntary policy,” he said.
“Public Health England, who is now responsible, must get tough on those companies not complying and set new mandatory targets to be achieved by 2020 without further delay.”
Dr Alison Tedstone, Public Health England’s Chief Nutritionist, pointed out that salt consumption in the UK has decreased over the last decade.
“However, some products are still too high in salt and we know this can be reduced further,” she said.
“We’ve been very clear with the food industry on the importance of meeting the 2017 salt targets.
“We’ll report on their progress next year and will provide advice to government on the next steps.”