There are many meat-free alternatives on the market these days. As a leading south east butcher, we cannot fail to see this. But according to Action on Salt, many “meat-free” burgers contain levels of salt that are far higher than the recommended guidelines.
Action on Salt, a group of health specialists based at Queen Mary University in London, state that meat-free burgers often contain more salt than burgers made with real meat, despite being widely regarded as “healthier” alternatives.
After carrying out a nationwide survey, the expert group discovered that beef burgers have an average salt content per serving of 0.75g, which is 0.14g less than the average salt content of meat-free burgers.
The researchers also analysed the packaging of 157 meat-free products. From this, they came to the conclusion that many meat alternatives, including meat-free burgers, sausages and mince, are “concealing” the levels of the salt that they contain.
Following on from their research, Action on Salt is urging Public Health England (PHE) to address the high levels of salt found in meat-free products.
Action on Salt nutritionist Mhairi Brown. states “The food industry have ensured greater availability of meat-free alternatives, but now they must do more to ensure that meat-free alternatives contain far less salt – at the very least lower than their meat equivalents,”
The government recommends that adults and children in the UK consume no more than 6g of salt a day.
“Reducing salt is the most cost-effective measure to reduce the number of people dying or suffering from entirely unnecessary strokes and heart disease,” according to Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University and chairman of Action on Salt.
“Given the vast amounts of strokes and heart disease that could be avoided and huge savings to the NHS, it is incomprehensible that Public Health England are not doing more to reduce the amount of salt in our food. We are calling PHE to take urgent action.”