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Jamie Oliver, who has Cheltenham restaurant, feels the heat over salty meatballs

By EchoLauraC  |  Posted: March 11, 2013

Jamie Oliver at his Cheltenham restaurant

Comments (7)

Jamie Oliver has hit the headlines over the salt content in his Italian meatballs.
The celebrity chef, who has a restaurant in Cheltenham, has been an advocate of healthy food along with eating education.
But scientist claim his Game meatballs in his restaurant chain contains 8.1g of salt in a 570g portion - nearly one-and-a-half times the recommended daily maximum.
The Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) tested 664 meals from 29 popular restaurants, fast-outlets and cafes. It found more than half were high in salt.
Jamie has disputed the findings, saying the dishes were regularly test since it was put on the menu last autumn, with its salt content ranging from 2.7lg and 3.8g.

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  • FreeRadical1  |  March 13 2013, 5:34PM

    That weight of 570g would include the whole dish - meatballs, sauce and spaghetti (or equivalent). It wouldn't be the weight of just the meat.

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  • Coingrass  |  March 11 2013, 9:02PM

    Who eats 570 g of meatballs - that's 20 oz, equivalent to five quarter-pound burgers!

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  • FreeRadical1  |  March 11 2013, 5:10PM

    All of the TV chefs put far too much salt in everything. I watch these programmes from time to time, as a friend is a real devotee (especially of Jamie Oliver) and I am always astounded at how much salt goes into their cooking - not to mention pepper and chilli, which I hate.

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  • raidermanuk  |  March 11 2013, 3:55PM

    supernova1 Don't think anyone here (or in the story) is confused. The whole point of this story is that CASH tested 570g of his meatballs and found 8.1g of salt. You might consider that volume simple seasoning - most others would say it was totally excessive. It's the sodium in salt that is not good for you (salt being sodium chlorate) and 1g of salt contains approx 0.4g of sodium. So if the recommended maximum daily intake of salt is 6g then the maximum daily intake of sodium is 2.4g. Both are stated on packaging however as most people buy salt and not sodium the 6g of salt is the the best guide.

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  • supernova1  |  March 11 2013, 3:10PM

    I wish peeps would realise the difference between sodium and salt content. Apart from trying to confuse us, they usually put sodium as a preservative, and yes, jeeez, it's really high. However, when Jamie is making meat balls from scratch, this is just 'seasoning' and is very unlikely to be that salty. Anyway, even if the figures are right, you will only have meat balls once in a blue moon, so it won't kill you. Well done Jamie, I think you're brilliant.

  • AndyPrestbury  |  March 11 2013, 12:53PM

    I went on a health kick a while back and made all food from scratch so very little added salt in my diet. After this you get to realise how much salt is added to everything. Digestives tasted salty, pizzas were almost unedible, as was almost anything savoury out of a tin. We have just become used to the amount of salt in food, so we do not notice it any more.

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  • raidermanuk  |  March 11 2013, 11:45AM

    There's an outrageously high amount of salt in most processed food but I'd have thought 8.1g in a 570gm portion would have been too salty to eat so it does seem a bit odd and I can see why Mr Oliver would dispute it. I bought some Baxters soup the other day with the word "healthy" emblazoned on the can. It turned out to have more salt in it than the other Baxters (not marked healthy) I bought. Richmond sausages are far more salty than, say, Tesco cheapo bangers! And how much salt is in bread - loads, even brown bread is loaded. One slice of Hovis Granary Original has exactly the same amount of salt as a packet of Walkers Ready Salted crisps! Off to the Doctors now to discuss my high blood pressure!

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