The hidden killer: How does too much salt affect your body?

21 March, 2017, 08:56 | Author: Eloise Marshall
  • Food manufacturers are'dragging their feet on salt reduction targets claims pressure group CASH

Baxter's Chef Selections Cullen Skink, for instance, had more than one and a half times the target for soup (1.1 g salt/100 g) while German hard discounter Aldi's Fishmonger piri piri smoked mackerel fillets contained 3.8 g salt per serving, putting it at four times more salt per 100 g than the maximum salt reduction target for fish-based meals.

It is recommended that adults eat no more than 6g of salt a day - about one teaspoon - and children should eat less.

Bread rolls have hit the maximum, but not the average, 2017 aim of Public Health England (PHE).

The study's results, which were released to mark the 10th World Salt Awareness Week (20-26 March 2017), examined how salt levels have changed since 2010.

The target for bread was set at 400mg of sodium (1g of salt) per 100g. In other words PHE are also failing to educate the public about the risks they're running in eating too much salt. However, it said this wasn't an across-the-board result, with the salt content increasing in the products of some brans, such as Mountain Bread Company (333 to 432 mg/100 g - up 30 per cent), Old Time Bakery (110 to 294 mg/100 g; up 167 per cent) and Freedom Foods (535 to 584 mg/100g; up 9 per cent).

Lead author of the study, Claire Farrand, said in the release for the study, "We know that excess salt in our diet increases blood pressure and the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, so our findings are incredibly worrying especially as numerous products that have the highest levels of salt are perceived by families as being the healthiest".

The campaign group called on United Kingdom health authorities to "immediately ensure" that the 2017 goals are met and that new salt reduction targets are set for 2020.

Schwob's Dark Rye Sourdough contains twice as much salt as a serving of Kettle's Sea Salt Chips.

Artisan baker Bowan Island's Wholemeal Sourdough stood out for its high salt content as well, nearly three times saltier, at 1.6g salt for every 100g than the lowest option, Bill's Certified Organic 100% Wholemeal Sourdough which had 0.6g salt per 100g, the study found.

New research released from the George Institute for Global Health has shown that some of the "healthy" bread products including rye and sourdoughs contain unsafe levels of salts compared to their flat bread and crumpet family members.

Processed and packaged foods account for around 75% of salt in the Australian diet.

A spokesperson for Baxters told The Huffington Post UK: "Baxters has almost 50 varieties of soup products many of which are within the current guideline levels for salt content".

The average Australian adult eats around 8-10 grams of salt every day - nearly double the World Health Organisation recommendation of less than 5 grams per day.

Professor Graham MacGregor, an expert in cardiovascular medicine and chairman of CASH, said the failure to meet salt reduction targets was "a national scandal". "This is why we're talking to retailers, manufacturers, and the eating out of home sector on how they go further and faster to reaching the 2017 salt reduction targets".

All of the study information on salt in bread and bread products is now included in the George Institute's FoodSwitch app.

The study recommends a reduction of sodium in bread products. "Our advice is to look for high-fibre breads that are also low in salt".

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