For years hummus and other dips like it have been marketed as a light snack with health benefits. However, recent studies have surfaced revealing that a container of hummus often contains more salt than four bags of chips combined!

The report was made by a health group called Consensus Action on Salt and Health or Cash, and details just how unhealthy dips like hummus may actually be. They tested hundreds of market brand dips and found some surprising results. Although rarely marked for their high salt content, with one brand containing over three times the daily recommended intake.

Surprisingly the least salty dip tended to be types of salsa which contained roughly 0.49 grams of salt for every 100 grams.

Salt and fat are dangerous when they become such a major part of one’s diet and can contribute to developing heart disease or having a stroke, both of which are leading causes of death around the world. Many people turn to dips as a healthier alternative to known salty snacks like chips or pretzels but now that paradise seems lost.

Salt isn’t the only issue in these dips, many of them have incredibly high fat content as well. One dip by the name of Essential Waitrose Sourcream and Chive was found to contain more fat calories than a Big Mac! Hummus itself was found to contain 280 calories per 100 grams which is 10% over the daily recommended intake.

Graham McGregor is a professor at Queen Mary University of London as well as a chairman of Cash. He summarized the findings saying, “Once again we demonstrate the unecessary amounts of salt and food being added by the food industry to what could be a healthy product. Reducing salt is the most cost effective measure to reduce the number of people suffering which is why it’s imperative the government announce a new robust plan for reducing salt in our diet.”

Thankfully there are some other options for those looking for a zesty dip that makes for a great light snack. Avocado dips are delicious and are proven to lower cholesterol, plus they contain more potassium than a banana! There are also some varieties of hummus that don’t contain as much salt. It’s important to check nutrition facts and talk to your doctor about what sort of nutrients will be most beneficial for your particular situation.