The uncomfortable truth about sauce

Bupa Dietitian Ros D’Angelo takes a closer look at what’s really in your favourite condiments, and you may be surprised by the answer. 

Nothing beats tomato sauce and mustard on a hot dog at the local school fete. And I love stirring a little pesto through my favourite pasta dish. But you could learn a lot from taking a peek at the labels on some of your favourite sauces and dressings. They’re usually either high in salt or sugar. 

In this video I’ve taken a look into Bupa Marketing Director John Moore’s pantry, with the help of the FoodSwitch App. He was surprised to discover his favourite ‘flavour enhancer’ contained almost 38 per cent sugar. 
These condiments exist purely to enhance the flavour of your foods, so it makes sense. We need to be aware of where the salt and sugar is in our diet so we’re not accidentally having more than we realise.
 
Currently the average Australian consumes around nine times more salt than they need and about 75% of it comes from processed or packaged foods, NOT the salt we add at the table or in cooking. Too much salt can increase our blood pressure. In fact, in 2011/12, 4.6 million Australians had high blood pressure. High blood pressure directly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and kidney disease to name a few.
 
So how can we learn more about what we’re putting in our bodies?
 
When looking at food labels, look at the ‘per 100g’ column. A ‘low sodium’ product contains less than 120mg/100g, and a ‘high sodium’ product more than 400mg/100g of sodium. Make it even easier for yourself and download the free FoodSwitch app. It will rate the product as either low (green), medium (amber) or high (red) in salt, energy, saturated fat, fat and sugar. Then it will offer you a healthier alternative! If you really want to focus specifically on salt, you can put the “SaltSwitch” filter on so it prioritises lower salt alternatives for you.
 
Read more about how you can cut down on salt without sacrificing flavour here.
 
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