Soups, ready meals, cheese, bread, and even cornflakes are all packed full of salt, a new study by health campaigning group CASH (Consensus Action on Salt and Health) has claimed.
It is recommended that people should not consume more than one and a half teaspoons of salt per day – or 6g – however, the average person in the UK is consuming 50% more than that because of the salt contained in many processed foods.
Bread, the study claims, is actually the greatest contributor of salt to our diets, with dozens of brands, including Kingsmill White Farmhouse, Hovis Good Inside Soft White Thick, and Weight Watchers Soft White Danish, all containing around 1g of salt per 100g.
The report claims that tomato soups are also a major source of salt.
Nearly half of those surveyed contained the same amount or more as two slices of Domino's Cheese & Tomato Pizza.
The worst offender was found to be Baxters Vegetarian Italian Tomato & Basil soup, which had the same amount of salt as a McDonald's Big Mac and large fries.
CASH also found that since 2010, many brands had actually increased the amount of salt in their recipes.
Examples include Sainsbury's Basics Cottage Pie, which now has 186% more salt, The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Cottage Pie, up 93%, and Tesco Everyday Value Tomato Soup, which now contains 50% more salt.
Cereal was also found to be a surprising source of salt, with Kellogg's Cornflakes containing the most, at 1.13g per 100g.
And out of 200 cheeses tested, 95% had more salt per serving than a packet of ready salted crisps.
CASH said it picked the items to reflect the everyday essentials in a shopping basket.
The group accused food manufacturers of failing to make progress to reduce salt since the government set up the Responsibility Deal in 2010, a voluntary programme to help reduce salt, sugar, and fat in foods.
However, the Food and Drink Federation, which represents the food industry, defended its members and said they had on average reduced salt by 8%.
The Department of Health, which oversees the Responsibility Deal, said:
"Eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which can result in conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
"The World Health Organisation describes the UK's work on salt reduction as world leading.
"We have reduced average daily salt intakes by around 15% since 2001 and over two-thirds of products have voluntary colour-coded labelling so customers can see at a glance how much salt is in their food."