Thursday 8 December 2016

Tinned soup can have just as much salt as a Big Mac

Supermarket favourites can be laden with just as much salt as take-away pizzas

Published 01/03/2016 | 13:47

Tomato soup can contain high levels of salt
Tomato soup can contain high levels of salt

Kitchen staples, including tinned soup, can be laden with just as much salt and takeaway favourites, new research has confirmed.

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Health campaigners in the UK have spoken out against major supermarket brands whose products contain extremely high levels of salt.

Big Mac
Big Mac

New research conducted by the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) in the UK found that tinned tomato soup, cheddar cheese and chilled meals are the worst offenders when it comes to containing dangerous levels of salt.

More than half of the 45 tinned soups analysed by CASH contained as much or more salt as two slices of Domino’s pizza.

The research found that one brand of soup, Baxters, contained more salt than a McDonald’s Big Mac and a large fries.

The study also documented the increasing levels of salt being placed in every day food. Tesco’s Everyday Value Tomato Soup increased in salt content from 0.4g per 100g, to 0.6g per 100g over 9 years.

The research also found that the salt levels in cheddar cheese and cereal are also growing rapidly. For instance, Kellogg’s Cornflakes contained three times more salt than other brands of cornflakes available on the market.

Sonia Pombo, nutritionist and campaign manager for Cash, said: "Whilst many food manufacturers initially made a concerted effort to reduce the salt in their products, others are now failing to do so and, in turn, are putting the nation's health at risk.

"To do this, an agency independent of political control and not run by the food industry needs to set regulated targets for salt, saturated fat and sugar to give the food industry a level playing field."

Barbara Dinsdale, lifestyle manager for the charity Heart Research UK, said: "How unfortunate that the huge progress made by the food industry in reducing salt levels whilst under scrutiny from the independent Food Standards Agency has lost momentum since the introduction of the Responsibility Deal.

"Heart disease is still the biggest preventable cause of death in the UK and we know from the successes already achieved between 2004 and 2010 that consumer tastes can adapt to lower salt alternatives.

"It's important for the collective health of the nation to ensure that salt reduction targets are effectively policed to reduce the burden of ill-health caused by consuming too much salt."

 

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