Salt in Ready-Meals

Posted by Charlotte Miller on

Did you know that Australians are eating almost DOUBLE the recommended daily intake of salt? Why is that an issue? Because a high salt diet increases our risk of hypertension (high blood pressure). And hypertension is one of the leading causes of stroke, heart attack and kidney disease. So yeah, it’s a bit of a problem.

It’s recommend that adults eat less than 5g of salt (2000 mg of sodium) per day, which is around 1 teaspoon of salt. But we know that most of the salt we eat isn’t added at the table or during cooking – it’s already in the processed foods we buy. And we also know that ready meals have a pretty bad rep when it comes to salt content – and fair enough.

We put our investigative hats on, and looked at a few popular pasta bolognese options you’d find in your supermarket freezer, and yikes! Here’s what we found:

McCains® spaghetti bolognese has 1080mg sodium per 400g serve – which is half your daily limit!

Youfoodz® ‘Nonna’s Spaghetti Bolognese’ comes pretty close with a massive 992mg per 290g serve (this one’s actually higher salt per 100g than the McCains option)

And (we hear you ask) where does We Feed You pasta bolognese fit in?

Well, not to blow our own horn, but we are pretty chuffed to report that our pasta bolognese contains only 315mg sodium per hearty 400g serve. That’s under one third the salt content of these two examples. And at 79mg sodium per 100g, We Feed You pasta Bolognese fits into the ‘best choices’ category in Australian sodium guidelines.

So next time you're checking out ready meals, always check the ingredients list as you'll be surprised as all the hidden or excess stuff like salt, sugar or saturated fat. Compared the salt content per 100g to get a fair assessment.  You'll find many brands under feed which leaves you feeling hungry and more likely to snack after your meal, thereby adding even more overall salt to your daily intake. Look for meals around 350 - 400g, as this should be a satisfying portion for most people. 

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