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November 7, 2011

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Noodle seasoning too salty, say experts

A SINGLE packet of instant-noodle seasoning often contains more salt than a person should consume in a day, medical experts said at the weekend.

This increases the likelihood of developing high-blood pressure, said Wang Longde, a medical expert and a member of Chinese Academy of Engineering.

A pack of seasoning in a container of instant noodles contains 6 to 8 grams of salt, said Wang.

The daily salt intake for an adult recommended by the Chinese Nutrition Society is 6 grams.

"Chinese people like salty food, and an excessive intake of salt has led to a growing number of patients with high blood pressure," Wang told the Shanghai Evening Post.

"If salt intake is not controlled, health is put at risk."

Long-term excessive salt intake can damage the kidneys and lead to cardiovascular problems and strokes, Sun Jianqin, a Huadong Hospital official, told the newspaper.

Wang and Sun said the government should force instant noodle manufacturers to reduce the quantities of salt and mark levels on packaging.

According to medical experts, most Chinese people take too much salt every day - an average of 10.9 grams for each resident in cities and 12.4 grams for rural dwellers.

The World Health Organization recommended in 2006 that adults limit salt intake to 5 grams per day, while the United States' recommended level is just 2.3 grams a day.

Medical experts also told the newspaper that the daily oil intake by local residents' far exceeds the suggested standard - on average 44 grams per person per day, compared with the recommended 25 grams.

Currently, instant noodles sold locally don't list salt levels, Shanghai Daily has discovered. They are not legally required to do so.


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