Date
12 December 2017
A study by the Consumer Council and the Centre for Food Safety reveals many dishes that are most commonly ordered by Hongkongers are considered unhealthy. Photo: HKEJ
A study by the Consumer Council and the Centre for Food Safety reveals many dishes that are most commonly ordered by Hongkongers are considered unhealthy. Photo: HKEJ

Locals’ favorite everyday dishes turn out to be unhealthy

Hong Kong people are eating unhealthy foods, some exceeding the recommended standards of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety (CFS) and the Consumer Council conducted tests on 10 different dishes from March to April this year and found that  foods commonly ordered by Hongkongers are unhealthy, Apple Daily reports.

The results were taken from more than 100 samples. The most unhealthy dish to order are steamed minced pork and salted egg.

The WHO suggests that each adult consume no more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of sugar, and 66 grams of fat per day.

On average, the steamed minced pork contains about 530 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams. Wan Chai’s Fulum Restaurant, North Point’s Fung Shing Restaurant and Zhu Jiang Restaurant in Prince Edward were found to serve foods containing 730, 650 and 650 milligrams of sodium, respectively.

The saltiest sample came from Fulum Restaurant with 730 milligrams of sodium, loading up a 310 gram minced pork dish with about 2,300 milligrams of sodium, exceeding the upper limit of the WHO’s suggested intake.

The Consumer Council said that since salted egg is a marinated product, it should be expected that steamed meat pork patty would be higher than average in sodium levels.

A manager from Fung Shing Restaurant, surnamed Chan, said there are normally not a lot of people who order the dish in a week, probably only “one or two”.

She said the high sodium content is most likely due to the salted egg yolk, or the chef had “accidentally added too much salt”.

She said that sometimes the restaurant tries to cook less oily and salty food.

“But when we make it less salty, customers complain that the food is tasteless,” Chan said.

Fulum Restaurant has yet to respond to Apple Daily’s inquiry. Ming Garden Restaurant in Lai Chi Kok has the lowest sodium content of just 240 milligrams per 100 grams, 67 percent lower than that of Fulum.

Other dishes that are higher than the average 380 milligrams sodium content are fish fillet in sweet corn sauce and sautéed spring beans with minced pork, as well as fried shrimps with eggs.

Chinese-style beef fillet from the Lei Garden restaurant was found to have high fat content.

The tests also found that sweet and sour pork has the highest average sugar content. The sweetest sample came from Fairwood restaurant.

Dr Ng Chi-cheung from the Centre For Food Safety said that sodium is a necessary ingredient that helps maintain bodily functions but too much intake can cause diseases like high cholesterol.

Ng said most sodium intake comes from salt and different sauces, and foods high in fat content will increase bad cholesterol, raising the chances of getting coronary diseases.

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EL/BN/RA

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