The sauces in 'healthy' meals that actually do more harm than good

Sushi and stir fries are often touted as healthy menu options but experts say the sauces that go with them could be doing you harm.

A study into Asian-style condiments has found that just a few tablespoons can push your salt intake through the roof.

While it’s hard to picture sushi without the soy sauce, experts say you’re better off without it.

The Heart Foundation has said we should be consuming a lot less Asian-style sauces.

The Heart Foundation has urged those who use soy sauce to cut back on the salty condiment. Source: Getty, file.

“What our research found was that in just one tablespoon of the saltiest Asian-style sauce you could get your whole day’s worth of salt intake,” VicHealth’s Jenny Reimers said.

Fish sauce is the saltiest Asian-style sauce, with up to 96 per cent of your daily recommended salt intake in just one tablespoon.

A tablespoon of soy sauce can have more than 60 per cent, while a single plastic fish packet contains almost 10 per cent.

“We know that eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and this is one of the leading risk factors for heart attack, kidney disease and stroke,” The Heart Foundation’s Sian Armstrong said.

Fish sauce was identified as the saltiest sauce. Source: 7News

“People tend to douse their stir fries and sushi in these sauces, so that’s why we do recommend to look for a reduced salt version.”

In addition to choosing a soy sauce with a lower salt content, the experts suggest using tamari sauce, which is less salty than soy, or some brands of oyster sauce.

The Heart Foundation saying making the swap could halve your salt intake.

“Try cutting it out by half or a third to start with, your tastebuds will adapt to a lower salt diet,” Ms Reimers advised.