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Warning about salt levels in cheese

29th November 2012

A new warning has been issued over the levels of salt being added to cheese.

salt and sugar

The health pressure group Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) analysed 722 cheese portions of 30g each and found many contained more salt than a packet of crisps.

Thirty different varieties from seven supermarkets were covered in the survey over a four-month period between August and September this year.

Cash found the highest proportion of salt in the blue cheese Roquefort, feta and halloumi while the lowest levels were found in mozzarella, emmental and wensleydale.

There was also variation in the salt content in the same types of cheese. For gorgonzola, one cheese product was nearly six times saltier than the least salty, and there were large differences in the salt content for wensleydale and cheddar.

Cash advises people that their salt intake should be less than 6g a day. The saltiest cheeses had 1.06g of salt in a 30g portion.

Its chairman Professor Graham MacGregor said: “Even small reductions will have large health benefits. For every one gram reduction in population salt intake we can prevent 12,000 heart attacks, stroke and heart failure, half of which would have been fatal.”

However, the Dairy Council said the Cash survey was “mixing up the effect of cheese on health with the effect of salt on health” and that cheese manufacturers were working hard to reduce salt levels in their products.

The Department of Health said steps were in place to tackle salt levels in food.

 

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