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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the precursor of life-threatening emergencies, such as heart attacks and strokes. One of the best-known risk factors for this silent condition is salt. But your salt shaker isn’t the only risky object to watch out for. Salt can be often hidden in foods, including your meal deal sandwich.
Go-to meal deals available in high street chains can contain up to 80 percent more salt than a McDonald’s Big Mac and fries, Action on Salt warns.
Pairing up certain sandwiches with snacks and drinks could whip up a combination that exceeds four grams of salt.
However, the NHS stresses that you shouldn’t have more than six grams of salt in a day.
This amount set by the health service is the equivalent of 2.4 grams of sodium.
While one meal deal won’t tip the balance over, it’s still important to ensure that salt content in your daily menu doesn’t quietly exceed the overall limit.
Blood Pressure UK even recommends to “avoid” certain ready-made sandwiches because of their high-salt content.
The other option that could help keep your salt levels in check is opting for lower-salt alternatives.
And it’s not just the combination as some sandwiches on their own are showing red colour on the nutritional label.
For example, the popular tomato and cheddar combo can score up to 2.2 grams of salt per sandwich box.
Action on Salt analysed meal deals sold at eight chains and called on the Government to enforce strict salt reduction targets.
They suggest that companies that fail to comply with the limit should be fined.
The campaign group, based at Queen Mary University of London, also shares that almost a third of snacks contain “far too much salt”.
Certain meal deal options are not only high in salt but can also pack lots of fat and sugar.
As one in three Britons are believed to opt for meal deals twice a week, the campaigners’ findings are “deeply concerning”, they share.
How does salt raise high blood pressure?
Considered the “single biggest” cause of high blood pressure, salt’s ability to boost your reading stems from water retention. The popular ingredient makes your body hold onto this liquid.
This extra water in your blood then puts extra pressure on your arteries, raising your levels, Blood Pressure UK details.
What’s worse, if your high blood pressure is already in the red zone, salt can exacerbate this problem even further.
That’s why Blood Pressure UK recommends avoiding foods that are “particularly high in salt”, including some ready-made sandwiches.
One way to cut down on your salt intake is by looking at the labels and consciously choosing foods that are low in salt.
Low-salt content is considered to be 0.3 grams of salt or less per 100 grams of the food, while medium is set at 0.3 to 1.5 grams of salt per 100 grams.
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