Hot chocolate serving ‘has more salt than packet of crisps’

A mug of hot chocolate can have more salt than a packet of ready salted crisps, a campaign group says. Consensus Action on Salt and Health found salt targets were exceeded in all but one category of packaged food. Galaxy Ultimate Marshmallow Hot Chocolate powder had just over 0.6g of salt per 25g serving – or 2.5g per 100g – more than the 0.15g per 100g target. Mars Chocolate said the drink was an “indulgent treat” but Public Health England said more work was needed. The confectionery company said some of the salt came from the intrinsic sodium in milk and other ingredients and some was added “to enhance the chocolaty flavour”. She said the company continually worked to improve products’ nutritional profile. The Cash researchers looked at various food products and found only bread rolls had met PHE’s voluntary targets. The group’s survey compared two shopping baskets, each containing similar food items but with different amounts of salt, using the FoodSwitch UK app. The free smartphone app allows users to scan the barcode of packaged food and drinks to receive “traffic light” colour-coded nutritional information along with suggested similar, healthier products. The researchers found the difference in salt content between the “unhealthy” and “healthy” baskets of products was 57g of salt. It is recommended that adults eat no more than 6g of salt a day – about one teaspoon – and children should eat less.

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