Chinese takeaways contain five times more salt than a McDonald's Big Mac

Salt warnings should be compulsory for Chinese takeaways and ready meals health campaigners have said

Salt warnings should be compulsory for Chinese takeaways and ready meals health campaigners have said

The Telegraph reports that some Chinese takeaways have more salt than fast food restaurants.

By contrast a McDonald's Big Mac contains just 2.3g of salt, which is still around a third of the recommended healthy limit. When eaten with egg fried rice, which contains 5g of salt, the total salt content of the meal reaches 11.5g.

A diet with high salt is linked to health problems such as heart disease.

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.

Action on Salt said there is urgent need to reduce salt content in popular takeaways and ready meals.

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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. Soy sauces were by far the saltiest - on average being over five times saltier than seawater, with sides and dipping sauces in some cases adding almost 4g of salt per person to a meal.

The campaign group performed analysis on dishes from six Chinese restaurants which found that 97% contained 2g of salt or more per dish. Action on Salt claim that for every 1g reduction in salt intake, 7000 deaths are prevented from strokes and heart disease. "If the food industry don't comply, they should be made mandatory".

"Reducing salt is the most cost-effective measure to reduce the number of people dying or suffering from strokes or heart disease".

Professor Graham MacGregor, of Queen Mary University of London and chairman of Action on Salt, said: "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".

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: "Our salt consumption has decreased over the last decade - a loaf of bread has 40% less than it used to. We are now calling on Public Health England to take immediate action".

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