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salt bacon bread blood pressure stroke

Why bringing home the bacon isn't always the best thing

Kamal Mahtani
Last edited 14th September 2012

We consume too much salt. The problem is that high salt levels are associated with increased blood pressure and therefore increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Although the government says we should be consuming no more than 6 grams per day, we probably consume about 9 grams per day. The majority of that salt comes from processed foods rather than from adding salt at the table. Now a new survey from the UK based "Consensus Action on Salt & Health" (CASH) reveals what most lovers of a bacon sandwich probably don’t want to hear. Bacon has superseded ready meals, as the second highest contributor to salt in our diet with, in some cases, just 2 rashers providing half the total recommended daily amount. The survey reviewed the salt content of over 120 bacon packs available from high street supermarkets and found wide variations in bacon salt levels within the same supermarket. For example the supermarket Morrisons sells a Savers Smoked Rindless Back Bacon product with 6.8g salt per 100g bacon while also selling a different own brand pack with 2g salt per 100g. The CASH website has posted an industry response from Morrisons reporting that the supermarket will be targeting lower salt bacon products in the New Year.

So if bacon is the second highest contributor to salt, what is the first? I’m afraid it’s the bread holding your bacon sandwich together. Pre-packed bread and rolls remains the number 1 contributor to salt in the UK diet. The rest of the list includes fat spreads, cheese, sausages, cereals, ham and morning goods.

Hmmm….I think I’ll stick to my porridge for breakfast from now on.

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