'Healthy' salads turn out to be high in salt

One in 10 salads sold on the high street contains more salt than a Big Mac, a survey has found.

Only six of the 270 salad and pasta bowls surveyed by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) contained less salt than a packet of crisps.

A tenth had more than the 2.1g contained in a Big Mac burger.

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The worst offender, a Spicy Crayfish Noodles salad from Eat, contained 3.51g of salt – making it more than 17 times saltier than a Pret A Manger No Bread Tricolore with 0.2g of salt.

The Food Standards Agency recommends adults eat no more than 6g of salt a day – about a teaspoonful – to lessen the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.

The other saltiest salads from high street cafes and fast food outlets were Pret's Super (Duper) Humous Salad (3.2g), KFC's Zinger Salad with dressing (3.1g) and its Original Recipe Chicken salad with dressing (2.9g), and the McDonald's Crispy Chicken and Bacon Salad with dressing (2.6g).

Among the supermarkets, Marks & Spencer had seven of the 10 saltiest salads.

The saltiest was its Taste of Asia salad (2.83g), containing almost as much salt as six packets of crisps, Cash said.

The other saltiest supermarket salads were the M&S Pasta with British Chicken, Bacon and Sweetcorn (2.65g), the M&S Avocado and Feta (2.40g), the Tesco Prawn Layered Salad (2.3g), and the Waitrose Special Edition King Prawn Thai Rice Salad (2.25g).

Cash campaign manager Katharine Jenner said: "Salt intake is linked to osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Given the healthy image of salads it's surprising to find that they contain such high levels of unnecessary salt."

M&S nutritionist Claire Hughes said the retailer met all of the FSA salt targets for salads. The survey was confusing, she said, as it looked at different pack sizes.