Experts are calling for the food industry to replace five percent of flour in pizza dough with dried and granulated seaweed.

According to a new report by the University of Southern Denmark, seaweed is a “healthier salt” that could reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. As a result, using it in fast food could make processed foods like frozen pizzas, hot dogs and dried pasta “healthier.”

Many seaweed species have been found to offer various health benefits, while the intake of potassium salts in seaweed does not cause high blood pressure, as compared to sodium salts, which is commonly used in processed foods.

Experts have also found that seaweed contains umami, the fifth basic taste that promotes satiety. Umami could potentially regulate food intake and reduce the craving for salt, sugar and fat.

Seaweed primarily has beneficial proteins, antioxidants, minerals, trace elements, dietary fibre and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Pointing to the overall health benefits of seaweed, the report, published in the journal Phycologia, suggests that it should be used as a salt substitute in fast food and to enhance other food flavour.

"We know that many people have difficulty distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy food. By adding seaweed to processed foods we can make food healthier,” the authors stated. “In many cases we also get tastier food, and it may also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases."

People could consume an estimated 5 to 10 grams of dried seaweed per day to benefit from its good qualities, said co-author Ole Mouritsen, a professor of biophysics at the University of Southern Denmark.

The World Health Organisation reported that cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of premature death worldwide, despite effective treatments. The authors said that avoiding obesity and eating healthy could significantly help people prevent cardiovascular diseases.

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