One of the best things about eating banana leaf is the limitless supply of papadums. Most restaurants serve the crunchy crackers for free but experts are warning Malaysians to stop taking them. What……………?!
According to NST and Malay Mail, the crispy treat that comes along with many Indian dishes was said to have contained a high amount of sodium where a 100g of papadums could add up to 2,000mg of sodium, Penang Consumers Association (CAP) revealed after running some tests on several brands.
CAP president SM Mohamed Idris said as long as you consumed five pieces of it, your sodium level had already gone up by 1,300mg. Finishing the dish that came along with the papadums would easily set your sodium level above 2,000mg, which is the limit for sodium daily intake based on the World Health Organisation’s standard.
The consumer group took 11 samples of papadums for a laboratory test and they found all of the samples exceeded 1,000mg/100gm of sodium; shockingly, four samples had over 2,000mg/100gm of sodium.
“Consuming high amount of sodium causes high blood pressure as well as increase the risk of stroke and heart attacks, the leading causes of death and disability in our country.
“In view of the high sodium content detected in the papadom sold in the market, CAP calls on the Health Ministry to limit the sodium content in papadom.
“In the meantime, consumers should refrain from eating papadom until such limits are imposed,” Idris stated at the CAP office here today.
The group urged relevant authorities to direct the Royal Customs Department to monitor all papadom imports and check the sodium level.
The Health Ministry estimated that the average Malaysian adult consumed 7.15gm of salt daily which was already surpassed the standard set by WHO. With these papadums widely consume by Malaysians, it certainly worsens the people’s health.
Idris continued, “These products have dangerous levels of sodium and also contained sodium benzoate which is hazardous to health.”
“Consuming papadums will lead to a high sodium diet which leads to high blood pressure, stroke, kidney failure and water retention.”
He said these deep-fried crackers could cause constipation, hyperacidity, excess gas as well as heart problems.
“Even roasting the papadums is not healthier as research has shown that this could cause cancer due to a carcinogen that was formed from the sodium benzoate,” he said.
If that isn’t bad enough, Idris said that the process of making papadums was unhygienic as the dough had to be sun-dried in the open and exposed to many air pollutants.
“After being rolled out, the papadom are sun dried, usually in the open. They are exposed to many air pollutants.
“Also the surfaces that they are kept on while drying could have a large variety of micro organisms which can further contaminate it.”