The hidden health danger in your frozen pizza – and who's most at risk

But it turns out reaching for the frozen pizza in your freezer could prove even worse for your health than you thought.

We all know pizza is on the naughty list – the combination of cheese, dough, processed meats and tomato sauce meaning it's packed with calories and fat.

But health experts have warned there's a hidden danger lurking in frozen pizzas – salt.

Many have as much as three grams of the white stuff – that's half the daily recommended intake for an adult.

And, as a result, they can be particularly dangerous for people with high blood pressure.

In order to preserve the great pizza flavour once it's been cooked, manufacturers often add in a lot of salt, Healthline reports.

The NHS recommends adults eat no more than 6g of salt a day.

But we found many supermarket favourites contain more than that in a whole pizza.

Dr Oetker's Casa di Mama quattro formaggi packs a salty punch, with 6.32g per pizza, while Iceland's stonebaked spicy double pepperoni isn't far behind, with 6.29g per pizza.

Morrisons extra thin triple pepperoni isn't far behind with 5.81g of salt per pizza.

And Dr Oetker's pepperoni salame comes with a 5.36g serving of salt in one pizza.

High blood pressure can be caused by a diet high in salt, being overweight and a lack of exercise, so people who already have it should avoid foods which are very high in salt.

The NHS states that: “Adults should eat no more than six grams of salt a day – that’s around one teaspoon."

As well as pizza, the NHS added crisps, pasta sauces, ready meals and sausages could all also be high in salt.

The ideal blood pressure should be below 120 and over 80 (120/80) and most UK adults have blood pressure in the range 120 over 80 (120/80) to 140 over 90 (140/90).

If your blood pressure is too high (know as hypertension), it puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) and this may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

High blood pressure? Here are the pizzas to avoid

The NHS recommend adults eat no more than 6g of salt per day. Here are some of the saltiest frozen pizzas you can buy:

  • Iceland stonebaked spicy double pepperoni pizza  – 1.7g of salt per 100g, or 6.29g of salt per 370g pizza
  • Morrisons extra thin triple pepperoni pizza – 1.7g of salt per 100g , or 5.81g of salt per 342g pizza
  • Dr. Oetker ristorante pizza pepperoni salame  – 1.68g of salt per 100g , or 5.36g of salt per 320g pizza
  • Dr. Oetker Casa di Mama pizza quattro formaggi – 1.6g of salt per 100g , or 6.32g per 395g pizza

The higher number is the systolic pressure, which is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body, and the lower number is the diastolic pressure, the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.

You can request a blood pressure reading at your local GP – it only takes a minute or so.

Salt can cause high blood pressure as it adversely affects the kidneys meaning less water is removed from the bloodstream.

This is because the balance between salt, or sodium, and potassium, that the kidney’s use to filter water from the blood is disrupted.

High blood pressure charity Blood Pressure UK said kidney’s remove water by “using osmosis to draw the extra water out of your blood”.

“Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing the ability of your kidneys to remove the water.

“The result is a higher blood pressure due to the extra fluid and extra strain on the delicate blood vessels leading to the kidneys."


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