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Curry Worry – Salt levels raise Blood Pressure

Posted Apr 29 2010 1:27am

FACT:  A bought curry with all the extras (Rice, Naan, Sag Aloo, Poppadom and Chutney) could provide over 31g of salt, the equivalent of over THREE times your maximum recommended intake of 6g a day.

WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT? High levels of salt raise blood pressure and cause cardiovascular disease.

The new research from CASH surveyed 784 products in the largest survey of its kind in the UK, across supermarket shelves, independent shops and takeaway restaurants. The survey reveals very high levels of salt hidden in bought Indian & South Asian cuisine including; takeaways, ready meals, cooking sauces, chutneys, pickles and side dishes.
Curry dishes frequently top the poll as the UK’s favourite meals, but these findings highlight that the nation is blindly consuming dangerous levels of salt.  As well as main curry dishes being high in salt; you can more than DOUBLE your salt intake with extras such as chutney and Naan bread.  The lack of clear labelling on the packaging, combined with the spicy ingredients masking the salty flavour, makes it very hard for people to know how much salt they are eating.

Takeaway Your Life

Takeaways are thought of as a convenient option, however CASH found large variations in the salt content of the same curries from different restaurants in London’s famous curry street Brick Lane.  CASH found the lowest takeaway to be a Vegetable Korma (1.37g per portion) and the highest a Chicken Tikka Masala (6.81g per portion), so a simple swap could cut your salt intake by up to 4 times in the main meal alone.

“A regular ’Curry Night’ is becoming a British institution, making these high salt levels extremely worrying” says CASH Campaign Manager & Nutritionist Katharine Jenner. “This survey shows salt can be hidden behind all the spices and chilli in your curry, even in side dishes and sauces.  Add to this the lack of clear labelling on packaging and in takeaway restaurants, and it makes it very hard for consumers to choose a healthy option.”

See www.actiononsalt.org.uk for more information and tables detailing the products and their associated salt levels. Patients concerned about the affects of eating too much salty curry and / or with a curry worry about subsequent pain should see the article by Professor Avijit LahiriChest Pain – Cardiac or not?


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