Sigh – We've Got Some Bad News About That Loaf Of Bread In Your Kitchen

Trust us when we say that we hate to be the ones delivering this news but according to research conducted by non-profit organisation Action on Salt, just two slices of Hovis white bread contains up to a fifth of the daily recommended intake. 

To put this into perspective: that is the same salt content as a McDonald’s burger. Suddenly, our daily lunch sandwiches feel like they should be more of an infrequent treat…! According to the organisation, three quarters of supermarket loaves have as much salt in a single slice of bread as a packet of ready salted crisps.

Is Salt Really All That Bad For You?

We understand if you’re feeling a little salty (sorry) about this news and maybe you’re looking for a silver lining but salt really can be quite bad for the body, especially in larger quantities. 

A third of Brits suffer from high blood pressure which is caused in no small part by high salt intake. High blood pressure increases the risks of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. In fact, according to the British Heart Foundation, it’s estimated that 1.3 million under the age of 45 suffer from untreated high blood pressure.

What Is The Recommended Daily Salt Intake In The UK?

The NHS recommends no more than six grams of salt a day for adults (that’s one teaspoon), 2g for children aged 1-3, 3g for children 4-6, 5g for children 7-10 and for babies under the age of 1, less than 1g a day is considered to be safe for them.

According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, bread contributes the highest amount of salt to Brits’ diets with most adults buying around 60 loaves of bread per year. 

So, Which Bread Contains the Most Salt?

The most salty bread was Hovis Bakers Since 1886 White Half Cob which contained 1.48g per 100g. The other high salt content loaves included Crosta & Mollica Pane Pugliese Toasting Bread (1.3g per 100g), The Polish Bakery Baltonowski Premium Bread - Chleb Baltonowski (1.3g) and Hovis Granary (1.28g).

One slice of the Hovis cob contains 0.83g of salt which is double as much as a small portion of McDonald’s fries and the loaf itself contains six times the amount of salt as the least salty loaf surveyed - Waitrose Rye and Wheat Dark Sourdough Bread which only contains 0.51g of salt per 100g. 

Calls for Reductions in Salt Usage 

Speaking to The Sun, Sheena Bhageerutty, assistant nutritionist at Action on Salt said, ‘even the smallest reductions in salt would go a long way for our health. This is why we urgently need companies to double down their efforts to reduce salt further and make salt reduction a priority’. 

Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman at Action on Salt is also calling on the government to intervene with the food industry to reduce salt intake. He said, ‘For too long the food industry has been in charge of public health, at our expense. It’s time for the government to stop letting people die needlessly’.