Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jamie Oliver's Pasta Sauce is more Salty than Sea Water

Jamie Oliver's pasta sauce has more salt than TEN bags of crisps

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver

Under fire: Jamie Oliver's pasta sauce is more salty than the sea

Jamie Oliver has been accused of giving shoppers a salt overdose in his big brand sauces.

Research by health campaigners found the salt in a portion of his Spicy Olive, Garlic and Tomato Pasta Sauce is equivalent to more than ten bags of ready-salted crisps.

The sauce contained 3g of salt per 100g, making it more salty than sea water.

Consuming half a jar would equate to 5.3g of salt, which is 88 per cent of the maximum amount an adult is recommended to eat in a day.

Loyd Grossman has also been named and shamed in a study published by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH).

His bolognese sauce contains 1.5g of salt per 100g, five times more than the level found in Asda's Good For You Bolognese.

Government watchdog the Food Standards Agency claims the nation is consuming far too much salt, leading to an epidemic of high blood pressure and strokes.

CASH found that brands associated with TV celebrities generally had more salt than supermarket own-label sauces.

The level in Oliver's pasta sauce was some 30 times the figure in WeightWatchers' Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce.

Oliver's Green Pesto Sauce also contains 3g of salt per 100g, although it is eaten in smaller quantities.

Food firms insist salt is used for good reasons, both because it delivers the taste that customers want and, often, as a preservative.

However, CASH said manufacturers should be able to bring the salt level down to match those it considers to be best.

CASH chairman, Graham MacGregor, a professor of cardiovascular medicine, said: 'Atlantic seawater has 2.5g of salt per 100g. A couple of Jamie Oliver's sauces are even higher than that.

'I think one problem is that a lot of the famous chefs unknowingly are salt addicts. They get used to eating lots of it and their salt taste receptors get suppressed.

'It would be really interesting to measure Jamie's daily intake of salt.'

The Oliver pasta product says half a jar equals one serving.

However, a spokesman for the chef said this would be enough for two or three people.

He added: 'Jamie spent a lot of time working on these sauces and they are designed to be eaten in the Italian way - one jar with at least 500g of pasta - feeding four to six people.

'Because they are more concentrated than rivals you don't need as much and the salt content is dissipated.'

• The BBC is to broadcast a five-part series celebrating the 40-year career of Delia Smith. Starting in January, Delia Through The Decades will assess the impact she has had on our eating habits.


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