Less salt and saturated fat in supermarket food, but more action needed

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The amount of salt and saturated fat in the food at Dutch supermarkets is going down slowly, according to research by food safety body NVWA.

The agency says the amount of salt in food has fallen 11% over the past six years while the volume of saturated fat has also gone down, but not enough to meet targets.

The targets, agreed between the government and food industry in 2014, say that people should not have more than six grammes of salt and 10% saturated fat in their daily diets by 2020.

In 2016, men ate an average of 9.7 grammes of salt and woman 7.5 grammes, the agency said. Too much salt can have an impact on blood pressure, which raises the risk of heart and artery disease.

The NVWA compared the contents of 404 food products with their contents in 2011. In particular, salt levels had been cut in bread, jams, cheese, oven-ready meals, soup and cold meats. There was more salt, however, in sauces.

In terms of saturated fats, pate and liver paste used to consist of 60% of saturated fats and this has now been cut to 48%, the agency said. Some 94% of ready-prepared meals now meet the official targets.

Ministers are now looking at the 2014 agreement in more detail to see if it should be tightened up.

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