The Breakfast Cereal Information Service

Nutritional Information

Salt

Salt, the common term for sodium chloride, is present in very small amounts in some breakfast cereals where it plays important roles such as enhancing flavour and improving texture.

We are advised to limit our salt intake to 6g per day[1], and whilst average salt intakes in adults have reduced by 0.9 grams per day in the decade from 2005 to 2014 our intake remains high[2]. Typical intakes in men are around 9.1g/day and in women 8g/day[2].  In children intakes vary from around 3.7g/ day in 4-6 year olds, to 7.1g/day for boys and 6.2g/day for girls aged 11-18 years[3]. Too much salt can raise blood pressure, increasing the risk of health problems such as heart disease and stroke [3],[4].

Breakfast cereals typically contribute around 2% of the total salt intake in the adult diet, providing an average of 0.5g salt per 100

Breakfast cereal manufacturers have worked to gradually reduce salt levels in manufactured foods with great success, the latest data revealing a 64% reduction in salt levels in breakfast cereals between 1998 and 2015.

Cereal manufacturers are committed to continue to review salt levels in the breakfast cereals market on an annual basis and to monitor the trend.


[1] Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (2003). Salt and Health. The Stationery Office. http://www.sacn.gov.uk/pdfs/sacn_salt_final.pdf

[2] NatCen Social Research, MRC Human Nutrition Research, University College London. Medical School. (2016). National Diet and Nutrition Survey: assessment of dietary sodium Adults (19 to 64 years) in England, 2014

[3] NatCen Social Research, MRC Human Nutrition Research, University College London. Medical School (2015) NDNS Years 1-4, 2008/09-2011/12 [data collection] 7th edition. UK Data Service.

 

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