You are what you eat & drink

Is cheese a health risk?

Cheese too salty and a risk to public health, study finds

Research published in British Medical Journal says halloumi and blue cheese such as Roquefort are among the worst offenders

Blue cheeses were among some of the saltiest and branded products tend to contain more salt than supermarket own-brands. Photograph: Alamy

Many popular cheeses on sale in UK supermarkets contain high levels of salt, despite meeting government reduction targets as part of the drive to improve public health, campaigners have warned.

Halloumi and imported blue cheese such as Roquefort contained the most salt – more than sea water – while cottage cheese contained the least, according to a major new research study carried out by Cash (Consensus Action on Salt & Health) and published in the British Medical Journal.

The average salt content of cheddar – the UK’s favourite – tends to be higher in branded products including Cathedral City than in supermarket own-label cheddar, while supermarkets are also better than manufacturers at reducing salt levels, the study found. Many large producers – including Dairy Crest and Kerry Foods – have not signed up to the Department of Health’s 2012 and new 2017 salt reduction pledge.

Cheese is one of the major contributors of salt to the UK diet and is widely consumed: an average person consumes nine kilos a year. But the study found that high salt intake raises blood pressure and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (ie strokes, heart attacks and heart failure) and kidney disease.

Source: TheGuardian Read more

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