Supermarket Pizzas In Your Weekly Shop? We've Got Some Bad News For You

Googles 'how to make pizza at home'...
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It’s a Thursday night and you can’t be bothered to cook, so what do you do? Pop a pizza in the oven. It’s simple, quick, and satisfies your cravings. I mean who doesn’t like a pizza, right?

Well if you’re like most of the nation and love the Italian treat, we have some bad news for you. Half the pizzas that are eaten in the UK contain the recommended daily salt intake, new research has found.

1,387 different pizzas were bought in shops, supermarkets, takeaways, and restaurants to be analysed, according to The Guardian. The research found that one pizza in the Domino’s range contained a shocking amount of more than three days’ worth of salt.

The UK’s saltiest pizza was found to be the brand’s sizzler standard mozzarella stuffed crust medium pizza. The pizza contains 21.4 grams of salt making it saltier than seawater, we repeat, saltier than seawater!

Considering the maximum daily intake recommended by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) is just six grams, that is an astounding amount of salt.

But, the current average consumption of salt is around 8.4g – 40% higher than the official target.

Health experts explain that the high levels of salt intake are concerning as it could lead to high blood pressure, which is the most common cause of heart attacks and strokes.

Action on Salt, the scientific research group which carried out the analysis said the shocking levels of salt found in several pizzas highlight that the government’s plan to get the food industry to use less salt had not worked.

Action on Salt carried out a similar study in 2014 but found that some brands of pizza contain even more salt than back then. The salt content of Domino’s Tandoori Hot standard mozzarella thin and crispy crust pizza for example has increased over that time from 5.3g to 14.4g.

“Despite our reliance on the food industry to provide us with access to better, healthier options, it’s infuriating to see some companies ignoring the overwhelming evidence in support of salt reduction and, worse still, increasing the salt content further,” Sonia Pombo, a registered nutritionist who is the group’s campaign lead, said.

The group goes on to say that the salt content of pizzas and other foods is so harmful that ministers should add the principle of sugar tax to it too. This can pressure firms to make less salty products, the group added.

Graham MacGregor, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London who is the chair of Action on Salt quoted a study by the Department of Health and Social Care that found that lowering the levels of salt intake in the UK could save 4000 lives annually.

Surprisingly, takeaway pizzas contain more than double the amount of salt found in supermarket-bought ones. Two-thirds of pizzas sold in takeaways have 6g or more salt.

However, this isn’t your sign to hit the supermarkets for a pizza. Popular supermarket pizza brand Crosta & Mollica was found to have one of the saltiest pizzas per 100g.

“Thanks to our salt reduction programme, the amount of salt in food has fallen by about 20% – helping to prevent nearly 70,000 heart attacks and strokes while reducing pressure on the NHS,” a DHSC spokesperson said.