Shock finding on bread salt content

One in four bread loaves contains as much salt per slice as a packet of crisps, new research has found.

Consensus Action on Salt & Health (CASH), a campaign group of medics, surveyed the salt content of 294 fresh and packaged loaves from supermarkets and their in-store bakeries as well as chain and independent high street bakeries, and found many were packed with hidden salt.



It found 28% of loaves surveyed contained as much salt per slice as a packet of crisps - or more in some cases.



Cash has called for clearer labelling on bread from in-store supermarket and high street bakeries, which often have no nutritional labelling, making it impossible for consumers to know how much salt they are eating.



It also found that as well as being unlabelled, some high street chain bread contains more than three times as much salt per 100g than bread baked in supermarkets.



The findings come after the Department of Health announced that bread is the largest contributor of salt to our diet, providing almost a fifth (18%) of our current daily salt intake. Current salt intake in the UK is 8.6g, with the maximum daily recommendation at 6g.



Cash campaign director Katharine Jenner said: "Most people wouldn't realise that bread contains so much salt, as it doesn't taste salty.



"It is scandalous that there is no labelling on fresh bread, without it, how are we supposed to know where salt is hidden and cut our intake to less than 6g a day?"



Cash found the highest standard packaged bread was Cranks Seeded Farmhouse at 2.03g/100g, which contained nearly four times more salt than the lowest - a Marks & Spencer's Simply More Eat Well Healthiest White Bread (0.58g/100g).



It said speciality breads, such as rye bread, were often perceived as healthier but could be high in salt.



Cash chairman Professor Graham MacGregor said: "With bread being the biggest contributor of salt to our diets, it is frankly outrageous that bread still contains so much salt.



"The Department of Health needs to ensure that all bread is clearly labelled and that all manufacturers reduce the salt of bread to less than the salt target of 1g/100g.



"It is the very high levels of salt that is hidden in everyday food, such as bread, that puts up both adults' and children's blood pressure.



"If all manufacturers went beyond these targets and cut the salt in their breads by a half, it would reduce our salt intakes by half a gram per day, which is predicted to prevent over 3,000 deaths from strokes and heart attacks a year."



British Retail Consortium food director Andrew Opie said: "Our members have made fantastic progress reducing the levels of salt in food in recent years.



"It's good to see that many of the loaves of bread with the lowest levels of salt are supermarket own-brands. These are the breads which sell at the greatest volume and that people are likely to eat every day, so reducing the salt in them makes a significant difference to the health of the nation.



"Reducing salt levels in speciality breads is much harder. Retailers and manufacturers have just announced they are choosing to fund independent scientific research to try and find ways of meeting new salt-reduction targets for a range of products, while still making foods which consumers want to buy.



"There's a danger if salt is reduced further that products will no longer taste the way customers want them to."

PA

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

    £18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

    Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

    £40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

    £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

    £20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

    Day In a Page

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future