US Fast Food Way More Salty Than Foreign Fast Food, Generally Less Healthy [Study]

James Johnson

Fast food in the United States has far more salt than foreign fast food locations, even when the same fast food chain is compared in the United States and then overseas.

The new research was published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and finds for example that McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets in the United States have 1.6 grams of salt for every 100 grams while UK McNuggets have just 0.6 grams of salt for every 100 grams.

The study found that Canadian McNuggets were just as salty as American McNuggets, however salt levels were lower in Australian, Frence and Kiwi McNuggets.

You could say Americans are getting more for their money. You could also say they’re getting more high blood pressure and premature death.

McNuggets sold in Canada were about as salty as those in the U.S., while Australian, French, and Kiwi nuggets had significantly less salt, but not as little as in the U.K.

According to study lead author Elizabeth Dunford:

“We know that some companies are already doing work to reduce salt levels, so we expect to find variation between companies and countries.”

The study focused on six fast food chains; Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Subway which were then studied in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, and New Zealand.

The study found that chick products, breakfast items and pizza in the United States contained the most salt with Pizza containing the most salt filed by chicken products. The study also found that Pizza Hut had the most salt while Subway sandwiches had the least.

While U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest no more than 2,300mg of salt a day its easily to blow through that number with some fast food choices, the study notes that even some salads in the United States have more than 7 grams of salt while a single pizza in one case offered more than 10 grams of salt.

What might surprise some readers is the fact that french fries actually ranked fairly low on the salt chart, mostly because they are typically consumed in smaller portions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fast food and processed foods are responsible for most of our major salt consumption, specifically over-consumption.