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Leading health experts are warning us to check food labels, after a University of Newcastle review of the leading wraps brands found some are actually packed with salt and contain artificial preservatives. Very scary as we’re packing these into our kids’ lunch boxes thinking we’re sending them to school with a healthy lunch!
A team of researchers, led by Professor Clare Collins from the University of Newcastle, undertook an analysis of 22 of Australia’s top selling wraps brands in the Wraps Unwrapped Report. Professor Collins said some wraps that appeared healthy have the potential to make a significant contribution to daily salt intakes when consumed regularly, which is worrying given we already consume too much salt.
“There are many health issues associated with consuming too much salt so it is important that people understand what they are eating. Consuming large amounts from one wrap is not ideal, especially when we know from the National Nutrition Survey that among those who ate wraps, the average daily intake was 1.5 wraps. If you choose to eat the most popular wrap on the market, this can account for 90 teaspoons of salt to your diet every year,” she explains.
The real surprise findings were:
· 17 of the top 22 wraps brands were found to contain artificial preservatives
· Wraps vary in sodium levels significantly with one serve of some wraps containing six times as much salt as others (serving sizes vary between 25g and 71g). The variation between the highest salt wraps and the lowest salt wrap on a 100g basis was found to be three fold.
· The market-leading brand Mission contains the highest salt levels of all the wraps studied – one serve of these wraps (48 – 71g) on average contains 561mg of sodium. That’s over one third the amount of sodium in the Australian Suggested Dietary Target. The average sodium level of all other brands was found to be almost one third that of the average of the Mission wraps.
· The most popular wrap on the market, Mission Original Wraps, packs 790mg of sodium or almost 2g of salt per 100g (serving size 71g)
*· Swapping to a lower salt wrap like Helga’s Traditional White Wraps (430mg of sodium per 100g), from Mission Original Wraps (790mg of sodium per 100g), can reduce your salt intake by 40% with the bonus of not containing any artificial preservatives.
Leading dietitian and our health contributor, Susie Burrell, reviewed all the research, and said that while some wraps are high in salt, not all wraps are bad.
“The good news is that some of the wraps included in the Wraps Unwrapped Report were found to be lower in salt and contain no artificial preservatives.”
“One good choice for those wanting to moderate their salt intake and avoid artificial preservatives is Helga’s Traditional White Wraps (430mg sodium per 100g),” says Susie.
Susie recommends we all check the food labels on our favourite supermarket wraps to avoid making high salt choices when they are trying to be healthy. Especially if we’re packing them for the kids’ lunches!
“Learn to read food labels and look for wraps with the lowest levels of salt. Wraps that contain around 600mg of sodium per 100g or less are considered to be moderate in salt according to the UK Food Standards Agency. Steer clear of anything over 600mg of sodium per 100g as that’s considered to be high in salt,” she says.
Susie has created six healthy, nutritious and delicious wrap recipes using Helga’s… here’s our first one, enjoy!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
1 tablespoon light Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon basil pesto
1/2 large red capsicum, cut into 4 thick strips
1 red onion, cut into thick wedges
150g peeled pumpkin, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 Helga’s Mixed Grain Wraps
1 1/2 cups baby rocket
75g goat’s cheese, crumbled
ground black pepper
1. Combine yoghurt and pesto and set aside.
2. Place capsicum, onion, pumpkin and oil in a bowl and toss to coat. Place a stovetop grill over a medium heat (see tip). Cook vegetables for 7 minutes, turning frequently, until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Place wraps in a microwave and heat on high for 15 seconds or until just warm. Spread wraps with pesto yoghurt and top with rocket, grilled vegetables, cheese and pepper. Roll up wrap to enclose filling, leaving one side open.
Tip: Alternatively, vegetables can also be cooked in a large non-stick frying pan.
Visit www.helgas.com.au for more information
+ stay tuned here for more of Susie’s