Salt warning issued for Aussie favourite sausages

A man grills meat and sausages at his home in Buenos Aires Argentina

A man grills meat and sausages at his home in Buenos Aires Argentina

New research shows Australians wolf down 1.1 billion of them a year, with almost half our recommended daily salt intake contained in a single sausage and sauce wrapped in white bread.

The recommended intake is no more than 5 grams meaning one snag could contain almost half the salt an adult is meant to consume daily, The Age has reported.

The report's authors noted that the sodium content in sausages has stayed the same even as the amount in bacon and other sliced meat products has fallen, and called on food manufacturers to reduce the salt in snags. They analysed sausages, ham and bacon from major supermarkets from 2010 to 2017.

The company said it based its nutritional data on the cooked product which held less water than the raw sausages and affected the level of salt content.

There is cause for concern as Australians are already consuming nearly twice the the recommended intake of salt daily.

"We understand that sausages can be a quick barbecue option, but next time why not try filling the hot plate with other healthier options like chicken or veggie skewers", she said. Cleaver's Organic Beef Sausages contains the least salt (0.95g of salt per 100g), according to the research.

"We know that everybody enjoys a sausage occasionally and we're not by any means telling people not to eat sausages - we are encouraging people to check the label and try and choose the lower-salt option", Ms Farrand said. She said it is a huge concern, provided their popularity and how much salt they contain.

The recommendation is for adults to eat less than five grams of salt a day.

That's a big deal because excess consumption of sodium - one half of sodium chloride, aka table salt - is linked to high blood pressure, the so-called "silent killer" which ups your risk of cardiovascular and kidney disease.

Australians eat an impressive 1.1 billion sausages a year - each of us wolfs down 44 a year on average (likely at backyard barbecues, school fundraisers and Bunnings vehicle parks), equating 16 teaspoons of salt.

Australia's national dish, the humble snag, has come under attack from health groups who are urging the public to put down the wurst and pick up a vegetable instead. They believe that such would drive manufacturers to make their processed sausages less salty.