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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Cheese saltier than sea-water

Thursday August 7th, 2014

Some cheeses sold in British supermarkets contain more salt than sea-water, researchers allege today.

A study of more than 600 different kinds of cheese found widely varying levels of salt.

And the prime culprits are not the cheap Cheddar cheeses, researchers found.

The study, reported by BMJ Open, found that branded cheeses had more salt than supermarket own label cheese.

The highest salt content was found in imported blue cheeses and in halloumi, which were "saltier than sea-water."

The lowest levels were found in cottage cheese.

At 1.72g of salt per 100g the cheapest Cheddars meet the UK target of 1.7g per 100g while the branded cheeses did not - at 1.78g/100g. But campaigners say the UK could set much lower targets - in New York, Cheddar is due to reach just 1.5g/100g.

Researcher Dr Kawther Hashem, of Consensus Action on Salt and Health and Barts Medical School, London, said: "These results provide evidence that the UK salt reduction strategy, based on a series of salt targets for different food groups, is working, but that the targets need to be much more stringent if we are to get salt intakes down to less than 6g a day (the recommended maximum).

“These big brands need to stop dragging their heels and catch up with the supermarkets now, or they will be left behind."

BMJ Open 7 August 2014 [abstract]

Tags: Diet & Food | Heart Health | UK News

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