Galaxy Ultimate Marshmallow Hot Chocolate contains more salt per serving that sea water. A study by campaign group Consensus Action on Salt and Health revealed the alarming amount of salt in various supermarket products
With a name like Ultimate Marshmallow Hot Chocolate, you might think a health warning would refer to sugar levels.
But a study has revealed alarming amounts of salt in the Galaxy product – which was saltier than some sea water.
It was one of many items in a survey on salt levels, which found just one out of 28 food types studied had met the Government’s target for salt reduction this year: bread rolls.
The study by campaign group Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) compared two shopping baskets of equivalent everyday food, but where one basket’s items had more salt.
The saltier basket had 107g of salt compared to the healthier basket’s 47g. This 60g difference is equal to 130 bags of Walkers Ready Salted crisps.
Galaxy’s hot chocolate had 0.6g of salt per 25g serving, more than the 0.46g in a bag of crisps and 16 times more than the Government’s 2017 target set for drinks.
Salt levels in sea water fluctuate, but the drink was saltier than some seas including the Baltic and the Black Sea. Also among the worst offenders was Aldi Piri Piri Smoked Mackerel Fillets, which had 3.8g of salt per 100g, when the target for such products is 0.95g.
The survey was carried out using an app called FoodSwitch UK, which allows shoppers to scan barcodes and then shows them nutritional information.
In all 28 categories there were products with at least 30 per cent less salt, which met the targets. With cereals, there was a 97 per cent difference between Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Nuts and Caramel Bites (1.13g of salt per 100g) and Jordans Country Crisp with Sun-Ripe Strawberries (0.03g).
CASH is urging Public Health England (PHE) to ensure the 2017 targets are met and to set mandatory targets for 2020. Chairman Graham MacGregor, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary, University of London, said: ‘This is a national scandal. The UK was leading the world in salt reduction, but PHE are doing nothing to ensure that the 2017 salt targets are met.’
Aldi Piri Piri Smoked Mackerel Fillets, contain 3.8g of salt per 100g - more than three times the target for such products
Britons eat on average 8g of salt a day, 2g more than the advised 6g. CASH said cutting intake to 6g would prevent 14,000 deaths a year, saving the NHS £3billion.
Most people think ready meals, snacks and salt added to food are the biggest problems when bread and cereals contribute nearly a quarter of the salt in our diets.
CASH said this shows PHE are also failing to educate the public. Katharine Jenner, of CASH, said salt is ‘the forgotten killer’.
Dr Alison Tedstone, of PHE, said: ‘The food industry has reduced the amount of salt in our foods by 11 per cent in recent years, which is encouraging progress. We know there is more to do.’