A survey by the UK consumer group Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) has shown "significant variations" in salt content of bread sold by retailers.

The group looked at 138 loaves of branded and own-label bread for sale in UK supermarkets and compared the salt content as declared on the label. It said that 50 of the loaves surveyed, or 36%, contained more than the FSA's target salt level for bread, which is 1.1g salt per 100g. 

CASH has urged people to choose lower salt breads, saying that lower salt options could save at least 7,000 lives a year.

The lowest salt bread found by CASH's survey was Burgen's Wholegrain and Cranberry, which had 0.55g salt per 100g. The highest salt breads were two products containing 1.5g salt per 100g - Asda's Medium White Big Loaf and Morrison's The Best Farmhouse Malted Bread, according to CASH.

CASH nutritionist Jo Butten said: "The differences in salt content between these breads may appear unimportant, but we eat so much bread, as a nation, that these variations can add up to major differences in the amount of salt we eat. 

"People need to be aware of these differences and seek out the lower salt options, avoiding breads that contain more than the FSA target of 1.1g of salt per 100g, which includes just over 36% of the bread we surveyed."