Last night, viewers were glued to their screens as the Queen of culinary delights Nigella Lawson showed off a festive menu fit for royalty.
But it wasn’t the delicious food on her table that got people talking. Instead, people were left flabbergasted by the sheer amount of salt she used.
The TV chef showed how to make a range of dishes including garlic and Parmesan mash, sticky toffee pudding, Christmas martinis and devilled eggs. But it didn’t go unnoticed that she was sprinkling salt liberally throughout, adding seasoning to devilled eggs, ice cream and even cranberries.
She was promptly criticised on Twitter for her excessive salt use and a health campaign group has since urged the chef to be “more creative” with her seasoning choices. After all, high blood pressure is no joke.
Responding to the show, Katharine Jenner, campaign director at Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), told HuffPost UK: “We all need a bit of salt for our bodies to function properly, the problem is we are just eating far too much of it – as is Nigella, it would appear.”
It’s well-documented that too much salt can raise blood pressure and increases the risk of suffering from strokes and heart attacks.
Public Health England is campaigning to reduce salt in everyday foods and has set salt reduction targets for manufacturers – but it seems more needs to be done to tackle the nation’s love affair with the seasoning.
Adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day, which is roughly one teaspoon, while children should eat considerably less.
“There are easy ways to reduce our salt intake,” added Katharine. “It’s a shame Nigella couldn’t have been more creative. Flavour doesn’t only come from salt – try adding fresh herbs like parsley, dill and tarragon, or spices such as chilli, turmeric and paprika to your recipes.
“Also, always read the label or download the FoodSwitch App. It’s a great way of figuring out what’s high in salt and good practice in choosing less salty alternatives.”
HuffPost UK has reached out to Nigella’s publicist and is waiting to hear back.