Britons are being urged to cut back on the bacon to reduce the nation’s intake of salt.
Bacon is now the second biggest contributor of unhealthy salt to the UK diet
And with bacon now second only to bread as the biggest contributor of salt to the UK diet, action is being demanded to ensure manufacturers reduce the “huge and unnecessarily high” amount rashers contain.
Research by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) found two rashers can contain over half the 6g recommended daily amount of salt, with some brands having three times as much as others from the same supermarket.
Cash chairman Graham MacGregor, who is also a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Wolfson Institute, said 12,000 heart attacks, strokes and incidents of heart failure – half of which will be fatal – could be prevented for every one gram reduction in salt consumption.
He added: “As bacon is now such a big contributor of salt to our diet it is vital that the Department of Health ensures that manufacturers reduce the salt in these incredibly salt bacon products immediately.”
The research found Tesco thick-cut smoke, Morrisons Saver streaky and Tesco Everyday Value unsmoked rind-on middle bacon contains 3.8g, 3g and 5.3g of salt per two grilled rashers.
Variations found between packs from the same supermarket include Morrisons Savers smoked rindless back bacon, which has more than three times as much salt (6.8g per 100g) than the 2g per 100g contained in The Best Applewood smoked dry cured back bacon.