Warning on danger of salt in bread and cereals

Government advertising campaign will highlight threat to public health

Bread and breakfast cereals contain levels of salt that are high enough to damage health, the Government will warn in an advertising campaign that starts today.

In a poll of shoppers, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) found that 77 per cent of people were unaware that bread and cereals contributed more salt to the diet than other popular foods – including crisps and nuts.

Excess salt raises blood pressure, which in turn can cause heart attacks and strokes. The FSA, the Government's food watchdog, estimates 16,000 lives and billions of pounds could be saved every year if adults ate no more than 6g of salt a day.

Around 35 per cent of the salt we consume comes from grain-based products such as breakfast cereals and bread. A 30g serving of Kellogg's Rice Krispies contains 0.7g salt, equivalent to the amount found in a packet and a half of crisps, while Warburtons Our Thickest Slice bread contains 0.62g per slice, meaning that four slices would be equivalent to five packets of crisps.

After grain-based products, meat is the next biggest source of salt in the average diet, contributing 26 per cent, followed by 8 per cent from milk and dairy products.

When the FSA asked the public to pick the top three sources from a list of the 10 foods that contribute the most salt to our diets, only 13 per cent of people mentioned bread, while 12 per cent said breakfast cereals.

As it launched a new advertising campaign on TV, radio and in print to highlight the amounts of salt in both products, the FSA pointed out that because supermarkets have cut more salt than branded foods, store own-brand and value lines are now often better for consumers than those from companies such as Kellogg's or Warburtons.

Rosemary Hignett, the FSA's head of nutrition, said: "We're not suggesting people stop eating or even cut down on bread or breakfast cereals, as they are important part of a healthy diet. But we are saying take a look at the labels to find those products that are lower in salt. This could be a supermarket own-label product, or maybe one from the 'value' range."

High blood pressure triples the risk of heart disease and stroke, and doubles the chance of dying from these diseases. The average Briton now consumes 8.6g of salt a day, 0.9g less than in 2004 when the FSA launched its Sid the Slug TV salt campaign. The FSA estimated that the fall had prevented 6,000 premature deaths and saved the economy £1.5bn a year. The Association of Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers confirmed that its members had reduced salt levels by 44 per cent since 1998.

Paul Wheeler, a spokesman for Kellogg's, said: "A bowl of Rice Krispies gives you less than a tenth of your daily allowance of salt, and over the next couple of months we'll reduce that by a further 20 per cent. We've been reducing salt in our cereals, by a total of 40 per cent, for the last 10 years – that's why we're disappointed to be singled out in this campaign."

Gordon Polson, director of the Federation of Bakers, said: "The foods that contribute the most salt to our diets do not necessarily have to have the highest salt content, but can just be the ones that we eat the most often."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant

    £14500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for an experie...

    Recruitment Genius: Canteen Manager Required

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's Frozen...

    Recruitment Genius: Canteen Assistants Required

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's Frozen...

    Recruitment Genius: Facilities & Operational Administrator

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting position has risen ...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum