Australians warned about salt content of sausages

Modesto Morganelli
Marzo 14, 2018

The average sausage holds more than a quarter of the recommended maximum daily salt intake - and after you add in a slice of white bread and tomato sauce it goes up to almost half, according to research by the George Institute for Global Health, VicHealth and the Heart Foundation.

The findings follow an earlier study this year, which found Australian men were eating twice as much salt as the recommended daily intake, and women weren't far behind.

The report, which was produced between VicHealth, The George Institute for Global Health and the Heart Foundation tested the different sausages from major supermarkets such as Coles, Woolworths, ALDI and IGA.

They found that sliced meats and bacon cut their salt content. Heart Foundation Victoria Dietitian Sian Armstrong said such is proof that manufacturers can make meats less salty.

But for sausages, there was no change to their salt content during the seven year period.

There is cause for concern as Australians are already consuming nearly twice the the recommended intake of salt daily.

"We understand that sausages can be a quick BBQ option, but next time why not try filling the hot plate with other healthier options like chicken or veggie skewers". Cleaver's Organic Beef Sausages contains the least salt (0.95g of salt per 100g), according to the research.

"This is of huge concern because it is putting our health at risk", public health nutritionist Clare Farrand said.

The World Health Organisation recommends eating less than 5mg of salt a day, and Ms Armstrong said the health impacts of overindulging were well known.

That's a big deal because excess consumption of sodium - one half of sodium chloride, aka table salt - is linked to high blood pressure, the so-called "silent killer" which ups your risk of cardiovascular and kidney disease.

"The average Aussie eats 44 sausages a year totalling 16 teaspoons of salt, and some sausages are three times saltier than others".

To make it easier they called on the government to implement voluntary salt targets for sausage manufacturers.

"We know that setting salt targets and regular monitoring of the food industry towards achieving the targets works", she said.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter also encouraged consumers to be more mindful of their salt content.

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