Bread beats out chips as biggest salt source, CDC says

ATLANTA - Bread and rolls are the number one source of salt in the US diet, accounting for more than twice as much sodium as salty junk food like potato chips.

That surprising finding comes in a government report released yesterday that includes a list of the top 10 sources of sodium. Salty snacks actually came in at the bottom of the list compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn - which we think of as the saltiest foods in our diet - are only number 10,’’ said Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director.


Breads and rolls aren’t really saltier than many of the other foods, but people tend to eat a lot of them, said Mary Cogswell, a CDC senior scientist.

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Salt is the main source of sodium for most people, and sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure. Health officials say most Americans get too much salt, mostly from processed and restaurant foods - not added from the saltshaker.

Specialists have known that the sodium in breads and other foods can add up, but even CDC officials were amazed that just 10 foods are responsible for 44 percent of the salt consumed.