I have noted in several posts that I am turned off by fast (and other) food that has too much salt in it. [See here for burgers, here for the Double-Down, and here for scones.] Several people have sent me recent articles about the salt in these and other foods, noting that high salt content in fast foods is not uncommon.
Jack sent this column from the National Post, pointing out that there are many fast foods out there that have more salt than KFC's Double Down:
Yes, it’s unhealthy: 540 calories, 30 grams of fat, 150 milligrams of cholesterol and — most famously — 1,740 milligrams of salt. That’s more sodium than Health Canada wants you to consume in a day, contained in just a quarter of the recommended average adult’s daily caloric intake. But as many news items have pointed out, aside from the heroic salt count, the Double Down is hardly a game-changer in the fast food industry. The Big Mac has the same basic stats (though considerably less cholesterol). A Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese has 40% more calories and 50% more fat. Wendy’s triple Baconator, with which we all seem to have come to terms, has two and a half times the calories (1,370), triple the fat (92 grams!), double the cholesterol (295 milligrams) and 35% more salt (2,380 milligrams).
The Double Down isn’t even the most unhealthy thing on a KFC menu. That honour goes to something called the “Boxmaster,” which is deep fried chicken, a hash brown, cheese and sauce, wrapped in a tortilla and shoved into a box for some reason. (Did they come up with the name first?) It’s got more than half again as many calories and fat, and astonishingly enough, 10% more salt.
In a somewhat more systematic piece [h/t MA], we learn that among the saltiest foods out there are the fruit scones from Caffe Nero in England.
You might not be surprised by the fat and sugar content of your coffee-shop treat. But there is a third and less likely sting for those partial to a scone or a muffin. It might see you consuming as much salt as you would find in a Big Mac.
The revelation comes from a survey of 159 foods and 28 hot drinks served by six of the biggest coffee shop and fast-food chains....
The worst offender was a luxury fruit scone from Caffe Nero, which contained 2.1g of salt, the same as a McDonald’s Big Mac and just over a third of an adult’s recommended maximum for a day [EE: apparently the UK recommendations for salt intake differ considerably from those of Health Canada].
If the scone was enjoyed with a Caffe Nero Hot Chocolate, which contains 0.33g salt, this would add up to 2.43g – nearly the equivalent of five packs of crisps [i.e. potato chips].
The article includes this chart, which is quite revealing.
When I saw this article (and reflected on some things MA had written), I had two reactions:
- Wow! a blueberry muffin from McDonald's has THAT much salt???
- Do people really like that much salt in their food? As you might readily imagine, it is beyond my comprehension that people would actually like that much salt. But I guess my tastes in this area deviate substantially from the tastes of at least a sizable segment of the population.