When certain dips and crackers are combined, a person can consume more than half a day’s worth of salt in just one serve.
Researchers at the George Institute for Global Health unpacked the levels of hidden salt in 850 dips and nearly 1300 crackers sold on supermarket shelves.
Nutritionist and the report’s lead author Clare Farrand says the results are alarming.
“Just looking at the average dip and average cracker you would be eating 1.6 grams of salt in an average serving. Now considering you are not meant to eat any more than five grams of salt per day, this equates to nearly a third of that,” she says.
“If you combined the highest-salt dip with the highest-salt cracker you would be eating at least three grams of salt in that average serving, so three grams out of a daily five grams -that’s huge.”
From 2013 to 2017 the average salt content of dips increased by 14 per cent, the research showed.
Taramosalata, olive and aioli dips had the highest levels of salt on average. The saltiest dip, Fresh Fodder Taramosalata, contained 4.8 grams of salt per 100 grams – this is almost 400 times saltier than the least salty dip.
Tzatziki and vegetable dips, including hummus, guacamole and eggplant dips, had the lowest average salt contents.
The good news is that the average salt content of crackers has decreased by nearly 16 per cent since 2010.
However, there is still great variation in salt levels among savoury biscuits, ranging from zero salt to 5.3 grams per 100 grams.
Farrand believes a person could easily eat an entire day’s worth of salt when a tub of dip and a packet of crackers is shared between two people.
Heart Foundation Victoria CEO Kellie-Ann Jolly echoed the concerns.
“Excess salt is directly linked to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke, heart and kidney disease,” says Jolly.
The new research was part of VicHealth and the Heart Foundation’s ongoing Unpack the Salt campaign and has led to calls for a national target for salt content of dips.
The five saltiest dips
1 Fresh Fodder – Smokey Taramosalata – 4.82g of salt in 100g
2 Fresh Fodder – Peppered Taramosalata – 4.82g per 100g
3 Fresh Fodder – Taramosalata – 4.8g per 100g
4 Wattle Valley Delish Olive Medley with Feta – 3g per 100g
5 The Olive Branch – Gourmet Tarama – 2.95g per 100g
The five saltiest crackers:
1 Kurrajong Kitchen Lavosh Thins Original – Rosemary & Sea Salt – 5.25g per 100g
2 Fantastic Delites Rice Snacks – Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar Flavour – 4g per 100g
3 Always Fresh Grissini – Rosemary & Sea Salt – 3.83g per 100g
4 Peckish Rice Crackers – Sea Salt & Vinegar Flavour – 3.75g per 100g
5 Fantastic Rice Crackers – Salt & Vinegar Flavour – 3.43g peer 100g
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