Put that shaker down.
A study conducted by the Consensus Action for Salt and Health (CASH) in the UK found that sweet foods were loaded with salt. The Telegraph reported that the sweets were usually intended for children, posing a health risk for them.
The study refers to "ready made puddings," which are cake-like British desserts available in a variety of flavors. A single serving of a supermarket-bought jam roly-poly, one type of pudding, was found to have nearly half the recommended daily salt intake for a young child.
The study also found high amounts of salt in Rice Krispies cereal and canned baked beans.
Consumers might assume that butter-flavored microwave popcorn or potato chips contain salt, but Jo Butten, a CASH nutritionist, told the paper: "Parents just do not expect sweet foods such as cakes, muffins, puddings and breakfast cereals to contain high levels of salt."
The Telegraph quotes Graham MacGregor, the chairman of CASH and professor of cardiovascular medicine at St George's Hospital in London, who said: "Keeping children's salt consumption below the recommended maximum limits is vital. Research shows that children who eat higher salt diets have higher blood pressure than children who eat less salt. It is also well established that blood pressure tracks into adulthood, with the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Too much salt is also linked with stomach cancer, osteoporosis and can aggravate the symptoms of asthma."
Researchers looked at a single meal of beans and a burger and found it could contain up to 4.2 grams of salt. The British government's recommendation for children aged four to six years old is no more than 3 grams a day.
Dietary guidelines for Americans are available on the USDA website. The agency's advice is to consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium (approximately 1 tsp of salt) per day.
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