This site is intended for health professionals only

Bread salt level 'outrageous'

A third of packaged bread will contain higher levels than the recommended salt allowance once new guidelines are introduced next year, a survey shows.

Most packaged breads are within the current guidelines, which recommend 1.1g of salt per 100g, but this is set to be cut to 1g in 2012.

Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) said it is 'outrageous' that bread contained even the current level of salt. 

'Considerable' salt reductions in bread have already been, said the Department of Health - some breads have seen a drop of 40% in the past decade.

While most breads are within half a gram of the 1.1g target, Cash found some 'significantly exceed' the limit and said bakery products are among the worst culprits.

Cash chairman Professor Graham MacGregor, of the Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine, said: "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 that the salt target of 1g per 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."

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"CASH really needs to sort out its message. The harm to health is from sodium, of which salt is only one form. Our most common form of bread in the UK is high in sodium because sodium bicarbonate ("baking powder") is used to make it rise, to produce many of those bubbles. The same goes for several other bakery products. The solution to the problem of consuming sodium from such sources is not tinkering with the minute levels of salt added for flavour and extend shelf-life but instead to switch to different products, or different foods" - Jenny, Manchester