One slice of white bread could be more salty than McDonald’s fries

Campaign group Action on Salt surveyed 242 packaged sliced loaves sold in supermarkets. Three quarters were found to contain as much salt per slice as a packet of Walkers ready salted crisps – 0.34g.

Two slices of Hovis Soft White Extra Thick bread contained 1.2g – a fifth of an adult’s recommended daily intake and the same amount as a McDonald’s hamburger.

Five products contained more than 0.9g of salt per serving – typically two slices of the loaf – more than two small portions of McDonald’s fries (0.44g each).

Slashing the content in bread could reduce rates of high blood pressure and resulting heart attacks and strokes, experts said.

Now Action on Salt, based at Queen Mary University of London, is calling for the Government to introduce mandatory salt reduction targets for food companies.

Professor Graham MacGregor, the group’s chairman and an expert in cardiovascular medicine, said: “It’s a disgrace that food companies continue to fill our food with so much unnecessary salt, as shown here in bread.

“It’s time for the Government to stop letting people die needlessly.”

The NHS recommends that adults should eat no more than 6g of salt per day – around a teaspoon.

The saltiest product found was a 450g Hovis white bread or cob baked with sea salt.

The least salty product was the Waitrose Rye and Wheat Dark Sourdough loaf, containing 0.51g of salt per 100g.

Tracy Parker, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This new report highlights some notable progress in reducing the salt content of the bread on our shelves.

“But it is clear that many manufacturers could go further. The Government urgently needs to look at a mandatory programme.”

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