Fast food is quite often very high in salt. Exact levels however, vary based upon the country you reside in, says a recently published report. Researchers studied fast food in six countries and found the same item at times had different levels of salt in different countries.
Certain foods tested in the UK had less salt than the same foods tested in Canada or the U.S. Examples included chain-store pizzas and chicken nuggets from McDonald’s.
In Australia, New Zealand and France, chicken nuggets had salt content that fell in between those of the UK and the U.S. Researchers are not certain why the salt content varied in each country.
One factor could be because of efforts by the UK government, as it has set salt-reduction goals that are voluntary, for the food industry. The goals do not reach the fast food industry as of yet, but in the roundtable that was held to help set the goals, fast food companies participated.
The researchers said they feel salt reduction appears to be feasible in fast food. In the past, the food industry argued that reducing salt was difficult because of the need for new technologies and new processes.
McDonald’s noted that the researchers used data that was dated as far back as 2010. The fast food company’s spokesperson said that since that time, the amount of sodium in the majority of their menu of chicken has been reduced by over 10%.
Researchers also noted that the study was not intended to be aimed as an attack on fast food. Packaged foods from country to country have different salt content as well.