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Salt and Sodium in Bread and Potato Chips. Who is the Saltiest of Them All? Singapore Edition.

Updated: Jun 4

Salt sodium bread crisps chips

In the war on salt and hypertension, things can sometimes get ugly. A question recently came up regarding a comparison between the amount of salt in chips (aka crisps for UK English speakers) and bread.

Does bread have more salt than chips?

So we did the research to find out, visiting our local supermarkets to review the salt in commonly available breads.

 

Standards


To be fair we have to compare 'serving versus serving' between two different items. Standards between the bread and chip manufacturers differ. For the sake of this article, we make the following definitions:


  • A single serving of bread is 2 slices. Most brands count 2 slices as 57g. This is fairly standard although in a few instances there can be variation between brands based on the weight of the slice.

  • A serving of chips. In a Lay's large (standard) pack there is 170g of chips, 30g is "1 serving" - about 6 servings the pack states. From a large pack I can eat 2 servings. A 'small pack' (50g) states that the serving size is 50g. For the sake of the comparisons with breads below, to fairly compare the values for sodium, we have adjusted chip serving sizes to the standard bread serving of 57g.


Finally, it is worth to mention that while the nutrition information panel says one thing, there can actually be variation from the stated amounts. Ingredients can be greater or lesser than stated.

 

The Results


This is where it gets interesting. From highest sodium per serving to lowest, chips are listed in bold:


  1. Lay's, Salt and Vinegar, 424mg (per 100g: 743mg)

  2. Doritos, Nacho Cheese, 364mg (per 100g: 639mg)

  3. Fairprice, Seaweed Potato Chips, 340mg (per 100g: 597mg)

  4. Gardenia, Original Wholemeal Bread 100%, 256mg (per 100g: 298mg) Note: 2 slices are 86g, not 57g

  5. Gardenia, Enriched White Bread, 250mg (per 100g, 438mg)

  6. Sunshine, Soft White, 244mg (per 100g, 428mg)

  7. Lay's, Classic Salted, 243mg (per 100g: 427mg)

  8. Sunshine, Fine Softmeal Wholemeal Bread, 234mg (per 100g: 410mg)

  9. Gardenia, Super Soft Wholemeal White Bread, 233mg (per 100g: 409mg)

  10. Gardenia, Nutri Multi-Grain Loaf, 225mg (per 100g: 313mg)

  11. Gardenia, High Fibre White Bread, 225mg (per 100g: 393mg)

  12. Sunshine, 100% Whole Grain Ultra Fine, 224mg (per 100g: 393mg)

  13. Gardenia, Fine Grain Wholemeal Bread, 206mg (per 100g: 344mg)

  14. Meadows, Enriched Whole Meal Bread, 196mg (per 100g: 327mg)

  15. Fairprice, Original Potato Chips, 144mg (per 100g: 253mg)

  16. Tyrrell's, Lightly Sea Salted, 103mg (per 100g: 180mg)


The 2 slice servings of bread, in red, all have within 10% of the amount of sodium as in Lay's Classic Salted chips.

 

Most guidelines recommend consuming less than 2,300 mg of sodium (about 1 teaspoon of salt) per day. According to Singapore government stats, "on average Singapore residents consume 3,620 mg of sodium compared to the recommended daily average of 2,000mg". National Nutrition Survey, 2022, Health Promotion Board


daily salt teaspoon

If you are trying to manage high blood pressure, it can be done. Many people are affected by their weight, for some even if they are relatively slim. As the doctor says, consider making changes to diet and exercise. Poor sleep and stress levels also have an effect. Read here for more articles on hypertension and lifestyle practices that support health.


When it comes to the plate and eating practices, many breads - and any processed food - can contribute significantly to our daily sodium intake. This does not mean 'stop eating bread' but rather be aware of what you are eating.


Eat Well,


Felicia


(and thank you Alastair for the research)


 

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Package Labelling


Lay's Classic Salted Chips Crisps

Lay's, Classic Salted, Sodium per 100g; 427mg

 
Gardenia Wholemeal Bread

Gardenia, Wholemeal Bread, Sodium per 100g: 298mg

 
Sunshine Enriched Soft White Bread

Sunshine, Enriched Soft White Bread, Sodium per 100g: 428mg

 
Gardenia Enriched White Bread

Gardenia, Enriched White Bread, Sodium per 100g: 438mg

 

Related Studies


Gupta DK, Lewis CE, Varady KA, Su YR, Madhur MS, Lackland DT, Reis JP, Wang TJ, Lloyd-Jones DM, Allen NB. Effect of Dietary Sodium on Blood Pressure: A Crossover Trial. JAMA. 2023 Dec 19;330(23):2258-2266. doi: 10.1001/jama.2023.23651. PMID: 37950918; PMCID: PMC10640704.


Cordova R, Viallon V, Fontvieille E, Peruchet-Noray L, Jansana A, Wagner KH, Kyrø C, Tjønneland A, Katzke V, Bajracharya R, Schulze MB, Masala G, Sieri S, Panico S, Ricceri F, Tumino R, Boer JMA, Verschuren WMM, van der Schouw YT, Jakszyn P, Redondo-Sánchez D, Amiano P, Huerta JM, Guevara M, Borné Y, Sonestedt E, Tsilidis KK, Millett C, Heath AK, Aglago EK, Aune D, Gunter MJ, Ferrari P, Huybrechts I, Freisling H. Consumption of ultra-processed foods and risk of multimorbidity of cancer and cardiometabolic diseases: a multinational cohort study. Lancet Reg Health Eur. 2023 Nov 14;35:100771. doi: 10.1016/j.lanepe.2023.100771. PMID: 38115963; PMCID: PMC10730313.


Filippini T, Malavolti M, Whelton PK, Vinceti M. Sodium Intake and Risk of Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-analysis of Observational Cohort Studies. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2022 May;24(5):133-144. doi: 10.1007/s11906-022-01182-9. Epub 2022 Mar 4. PMID: 35246796.

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