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So called ‘Healthy’ breads contain more salt than a packet of chips

A recent study by the The George Institute for Global Health found that some so called ‘healthy’ breads contained more than a of third of the daily recommended salt intake in just two slices. 

Researchers analysed 1439 bread products from 2010-2017 and found that Rye breads were revealed to contain on average 20 per cent more salt than targets set by the Australian Food and Health Dialogue (FHD). Flat bread such as wraps, naan, roti and tortillas also included unnecessary high levels of salt, on average containing a third more salt than white bread.

The loaves with the highest salt levels were Schwob’s Dark Rye, with just one slice containing more than double the amount of salt as a serving of Kettles sea salt crisps[1]. Artisan baker Bowan Island’s Wholemeal Sourdough also stood out for its high salt content (1.6g salt/100g), almost THREE TIMES saltier than the lowest option Bill’s Certified Organic 100% Wholemeal Sourdough (0.6g salt/100g).

The report highlighted high levels of salt in flat breads, with Mission Chapattis Garlic topping the list with 2.3 grams of salt per 100g grams per serve – 23 times more salt than the flat bread with the least amount of salt – Missions’ White Corn Tortillas.

Lead author Clare Farrand said “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 many of the products that have the highest levels of salt are perceived by families as being the healthiest.”

SALTY FACTS

  • The average Australian adult eats around 8-10 grams of salt each day, almost double the World Health Organisation recommendation of less than 5 grams per day.
  • Processed and packaged foods account for around 75 per cent of salt in the Australian diet.
  • Globally it has been estimated that more than 1.65 million cardiovascular deaths per year and attributed to excess dietary salt intake.
  • In 2009 the FHD set voluntary salt reduction targets to be achieved in three major food categories (ready to eat breakfast cereals, breads and processed meats) to try and achieve the World Health Organisation’s aim of reducing global salt intake by 30 per cent by 2025. The target for bread products was set as 400mg/100g.
  • The current government’s Healthy Food Partnership is currently prioritising nutrients and foods and will set goals for reformulation and clear measures to track progress.

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