A CANCER charity has warned that people who exceed the daily recommended salt intake could increase their risk of stomach cancer.
Dr Rachel Thompson, science programme manager for the World Cancer Research Fund, said tinned and packaged soups were among the worst offenders for "hidden" salts.
Next week is Salt Awareness Week, which will see the launch of a major campaign to encourage people to take steps to reduce their intake.
But while too much salt is well known to increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes, it is also a factor in some forms of cancer, particularly stomach cancer.
Dr Thompson said: "Soups are one of the worst culprits for hidden salt. Some brands have as much as half the recommended daily intake per serving.
"Fresh vegetable-based soups tend to have less salt than tinned cream-based soups that include bacon or ham, but even some of the healthier brands of vegetable soups still contain over a third of our recommended daily intake. This is why it's so important for people to always check the labels of products," she said.
"This is why we need to get the message across that limiting salt intake is an important part of having a healthy diet."