Chinese Food so Salty it Should Carry Warning Labels


A new analysis of more than 150 Chinese dishes has found many of them contain such high levels of salt they should carry a warning label because they may pose heart risks.

The research also looked at supermarket ready meals and found that the saltiest Chinese dish was Slimming World's Chinese Style Banquet Rice, which contained 4.4g of salt per pack.

It meant having a main and a side dish would contain more salt than the recommended daily limit of 6g. With over 22 million takeaways eaten every week in the United Kingdom alone, understanding the health impacts of these foods is a significant concern.

The results, published on Tuesday, March 13, showed the worst offender-Beef in Black Bean Sauce and Vegetable Noodles from Wong Kei restaurant-contained 11.5 grams of salt.

Action on Salt has called for an urgent reduction in salt levels of popular takeaways and ready meals. Over half (58%) contained more than 3g of salt per dish - half of the recommended daily intake in the United Kingdom, 6g of salt (the World Health Organization recommends no more than 5g of salt). It says, if 1g of salt reduced from your daily food it can help in preventing the number of death count, and some are premature either from heart disease or strokes.

Meanwhile, the least salty meal was Tesco's Vegetable Chow Mein (0.40g per 120g portion), followed by Sainsbury's Sweet & Sour Chicken (0.53g per 175g portion).

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Nearly all the restaurant dishes (97 percent) contained over 2 grams of salt.

The saltiest Chinese dish found at United Kingdom supermarkets was Slimming World's Chinese Style Banquet Rice, which contained 4.4g of salt per pack.

A takeaway egg fried rice, at 4.4g of salt, had as much salt as 10 bags of ready salted crisps.

"The lack of front-of-pack color-coded labeling on branded products makes it incredibly hard for consumers to make healthier choices and that is simply unacceptable".

"We've been very clear with the food industry on the importance of meeting the 2017 salt targets".

"Salt is the forgotten killer as it puts up our blood pressure, leading to tens of thousands of unnecessary strokes, heart failure and heart attacks every year", said Graham MacGregor, the chairman of Action on Salt and a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London.