Pie and mash 'has too much salt'
A traditional pie and mash meal can contain more salt than the recommended daily maximum for adults, new research has showed.
The report carried out by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), revealed that JD Wetherspoon's chicken and mushroom pie meal was the worst offender, containing 7.5g of salt - the equivalent of 15 packets of crisps - which is 25% above the 6g recommended daily maximum.
The survey analysed 526 pie, mash and gravy products from supermarkets, large chain pubs, cafes and takeaways with the aim of highlighting the salt content in foods traditionally thought of as men's favourites before next week's National Salt Awareness Week.
JD Wetherspoon's British beef and Abbot Ale pie ranked second in the list, containing 6.7g of salt per meal, and was closely followed by Punch Taverns's lamb and mint pie with 6.5g of salt per meal.
Figures from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) show that men currently consume around 10g of salt per day, totalling 365 pints of salt in a lifetime.
Tracy Parker, a heart health dietician for the British Heart Foundation, said: "Pie and mash is great comfort food but it's easy to forget it can come packed with salt.
"This is bad news for our hearts because too much salt can raise our blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
"If you're in the supermarket, look out for traffic light coloured food labels as they provide at-a-glance information on salt content.
"If you're in the pub, takeaway or cafe and can't find this information, making simple changes such as skipping the gravy, avoiding using the salt cellar and choosing more vegetables can also make a big difference to the amount of salt we eat without missing out on our favourite foods."
In 2008 the Office for National Statistics reported that twice as many men die prematurely of heart disease, heart failure and strokes as women in the UK.