Salty roast dinners

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Beware hidden salt in roast dinners

A Sunday dinner with all the trimmings can contain nearly 10 grams of salt – 4 grams more than an adult’s maximum for the entire day!

In the largest survey of its kind, BPA 'sister' charity Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) looked at nearly 600 roast dinner products and found families could be consuming excessively high levels of salt in their Sunday roasts [see below].

Ready-made options such as stuffed joints may help save time but can be full of unnecessary salt. When eaten with ready made gravy, stuffing, vegetables, Yorkshire puddings, condiments and a dessert, this could easily exceed an adult’s maximum recommended salt intake for a whole day (6g) and far exceed the daily maximum for a child.

And it’s not just the meat that can be high in salt. For example, a portion of Morrisons’ or Tesco’s English Mustard contains 0.5g of salt, as much as a packet of crisps.

You could also be consuming a huge amount of salt when you go out for your Sunday roast. For instance, according to their website, a Large Half Roast Chicken meal from a Wetherspoon pub contains 8g of salt, more than an adult's daily salt recommendation in just one meal. Even a Children’s Roast Chicken Breast meal contains 4g, almost all of the daily maximum for a 7-10 year old (5g).

“A family roast dinner can be a balanced and healthy meal but you do need to be careful when choosing ready prepared ingredients which can all contain a lot of salt” says Katharine Jenner, CASH Campaign Manager.

Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of CASH (and the BPA) said: “This puts both adults and children at risk of developing high blood pressure which causes strokes, heart attacks and heart failure, the commonest cause of death & disability in the UK. It is the food industry’s responsibility to take the salt out.” 

The Blood Pressure Association recommends buying fresh if possible, and if you are buying pre-prepared foods, check out the labels for salt content. For tips on food labels and how to cut down on salt, visit the BPA's salt pages.

Saltiest products in a roast beef dinner

Roast Beef - ASDA Chosen By You Peppered Beef Brisket Joint with Mustard & Pepper Stuffing 2.3g/212.5g portion

English Mustard – Tesco/Morrisons English Mustard 0.5g/5g portion

Yorkshire Pudding - Aunt Bessie’s 6 Delicious Large Yorkshire Puddings 0.5g/27.5g portion

* - Marks & Spencer Buttered Onion & Herb Breadcrumb Stuffing 1.10g/60g portion

Gravy – Morrisons Beef Gravy 1.3/125g portion

Roast Potatoes - Tesco Finest Goose Fat Roast Potatoes 1.3g /225g portion

Vegetable Mash - Tesco Finest Root Vegetable Mash 1.6g/250g portion

Cabbage/Greens – Sainsbury’s Red Cabbage 1.01g/150g portion 

Apple Pie - Aunt Bessie’s Scrumptious Bramley Apple Pie 0.8g/ 151g portion

Custard - Morrisons Ready to Serve Custard 0.3g/212.5g portion

*excluded from total of 9.61g as Asda beef already includes stuffing

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