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The crumpet with as much salt as two packs of FRIES

The crumpet with as much salt as two packs of FRIES: Toasted treat can contain high levels of sodium chloride, experts warn… and that’s before you smear Marmite or peanut butter on top

  • Warburtons had the highest salt content, with 0.81g in a standard 55g crumpet
  • Experts have criticised food manufacturers for failing to their reduce salt levels
  • Campaign group Action on Salt says it is ‘scandalous’ that levels in several brands are unchanged since 2016

As you bite into a freshly toasted crumpet, you could be forgiven for thinking that the only no-no is the butter oozing from it.

But even unadorned, a crumpet may contain lots of hidden salt, campaigners warn.

Just one can have 0.81g – almost the same as in two small portions of McDonald’s fries or two slices of white bread.

Experts criticised manufacturers for failing to reduce salt levels, especially as many of us add salty toppings such as peanut butter or Marmite.

A standard 55g Warburtons crumpet contains 0.81g – almost the same as in two small portions of McDonald’s fries or two slices of white bread. (Stock image)

In 2017 the Government urged food firms to lower sodium levels to help cut the risk of heart disease and strokes.

But campaign group Action on Salt says it is ‘scandalous’ that the levels in several brands are unchanged since 2016.

Warburtons had the highest salt content, 0.81g in a standard 55g crumpet and 1.5g – a quarter of the recommended 6g daily allowance – in a 105g giant crumpet.

The 55g crumpet contains 58 per cent more salt than the healthiest the group surveyed, Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference. Two small portions of McDonald’s fries contain 0.88g of salt

Salt– sodium chloride – is added during manufacture but raising agents such as baking powder also contain sodium.

Zoe Davies, nutritionist at Action on Salt, said: ‘Crumpets are a popular comfort food for both adults and children as increased sales indicate.

‘But with added toppings they can quickly accumulate to half of our recommended maximum salt intake for the day. 

‘To make crumpets a healthier choice, consider adding no-added-salt peanut butter, or eating with scrambled egg to make one crumpet more substantial.

‘This keeps you fuller for longer while keeping the salt content down. Alternatively, try topping with some fruit, such as sliced banana, which will help count towards the five a day many of us aren’t achieving.’

Campaign group Action on Salt has said it is 'scandalous' that the levels of salt in several brands have remained unchanged since 2016. (Stock image)

Campaign group Action on Salt has said it is ‘scandalous’ that the levels of salt in several brands have remained unchanged since 2016. (Stock image)

Action on Salt campaign manager Sonia Pombo said: ‘Our findings show a clear divide between the food companies that are actively trying to improve the nation’s health and those that aren’t. 

Three years on from the 2017 salt reduction targets, some companies are still failing to make meaningful reductions.

‘It’s time they stopped dithering and started levelling up with the more responsible companies.’

Heart expert Professor Graham MacGregor, the group’s chairman, called for mandatory salt limits.

He said: ‘Reducing salt is the most cost-effective measure to lower blood pressure and reduce the number of people suffering from strokes and heart disease.

‘Like with the recent and disappointing voluntary sugar reduction progress report issued by Public Health England, it’s a scandal that certain manufacturers have still not made any progress in reducing the salt in their products.

‘The Government must now mandate these targets to ensure a fair and level playing field.’

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