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The levels of salt in breads sold in Britain have lowered over the past ten years. Does it imply that there will be lower cardiovascular diseases? Read on to find out more about a recent study to find out about the salt levels in bread sold in the UK.

Health benefits of fall in Salt levels in bread in Britain

A new research has been published in the BMJ Open which suggests that there has been a significant reduction in the salt levels in bread consumed by the people living in Britain over the past 10 years. The study was led by Professor Graham MacGregor and his team at the Queen Mary University of London.

The study has found that the average salt content in packaged bread sold in the United Kingdom has fallen by about 20%. Various surveys were conducted by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) to analyze the reductions in salt levels in breads sold in the UK.

The study has found that bread constitutes the single largest source of dietary sodium in countries such as the United Kingdom, U.S., New Zealand, and Australia.

As part of the study, three surveys were conducted in 2001, 2006, and 2011 and the breads sold by different brands and supermarkets were analyzed for their sodium content. The nutritional labels on the bread packaging were examined and the salt content was observed. The survey conducted in 2001 involved recording the salt content in 39 different bread products.

The surveys conducted in 2006 and 2011 examined 138 and 203 different bread products, respectively. Of all the bread products examined, there were 18 types of bread products which were examined between all the three years. This subgroup of 18 bread products examined over all the three years exhibited an overall reduction in salt content by about 17%, relative to the overall readings.

It was found that the bread produced by renowned bsyrands had a higher level of sodium in comparison with the bread loaves produced by supermarkets. It was observed that branded breads had about 10% more salt content when compared with the breads produced by the supermarkets. The study also found that salt content was almost similar in different types of breads such as white bread, whole wheat bread, and brown bread.

This reduction in salt consumption has resulted in the lowering of cardiovascular diseases. As per Professor Graham MacGregor, reducing the salt intake of the population is one of the most cost-effective methods of improving public health as lower consumption of salt eventually lowers blood pressure and also lowers the number of people suffering and dying due to heart attacks and heart failure. Since bread is the largest contributor of salt in an average British diet, reducing the levels of salt in bread will go a long way in lowering the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in UK.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • “Surveys of the salt content in UK bread: progress made and further reductions possible”, by Graham A MacGregor, et al. Published in the May 2013 issue of the BMJ Open, accessed on July 15, 2013
  • “Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States”, by Jane E. Henney, et al. Published in the April 2010 issue of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, accessed on July 15, 2013.
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