Hot chocolate as salty as seawater

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LONDON, Mar 22: A new study has warned that a cup of hot chocolate may contain the same level of salt as that of seawater.

Researchers, including those from Queen Mary University of London in the UK, analysed about 28 food items including hot chocolate, chips, burgers and French dressing.

They found that a certain brand of hot chocolate was as salty as seawater, with 16 times more salt than the maximum target set by Public Health England.

Each serving is worse than eating a bag of crisps, researchers said.

Atlantic seawater contains one gramme of sodium per 100 millilitre, the same as the chocolate powder analysed, The Telegraph reported.

The survey also found a huge disparity in similar products. A shopping basket of everyday items could contain 57 grammes more salt depending on which brands were selected.

Most people still eat one third more than the maximum recommended intake which leads to higher blood pressure, putting strain on the heart, arteries, kidneys and brain and eventually leading to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease, researchers said.

Hot chocolate, also known as hot cocoa, drinking chocolate or just cocoa is a heated beverage consisting of shaved chocolate, melted chocolate or cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and often sugar. Hot chocolate may be topped with whipped cream. Hot chocolate made with melted chocolate is sometimes called drinking chocolate, characterised by less sweetness and a thicker consistency.

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