(Credit: Getty Images)

Hot chocolate might seem to be a relatively harmless way of winding down at the end of a hectic day.

But one instant brand has just been found to be ‘saltier than seawater’.

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Galaxy Ultimate Marshmallow Hot Chocolate contains 16 times more salt than the maximum amount outlined in the official salt reduction targets for this year.

Atlantic seawater contains 1g of sodium per 100ml – the same as the drinking chocolate powder.

According to the Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), 14,000 deaths could be prevented every year by reducing the amount of salt we consume.

Galaxy hot chocolate has been found to be 'saltier than seawater'
(Picture: Getty)

A new survey conducted by CASH compared two shopping baskets containing similar everyday items – but with different levels of salt.

The saltiest basket contained 107g of salt compared to the other which only had 47g salt. That difference is the equivalent of 130 bags of crisps.

Worst salt offenders

  • Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference West Country Farmhouse Butter with Cornish sea salt, 250g. Salt per 100g – 2.13g (Target – 1.68g)
  • Aldi The Fishmonger Smoked Mackerel Fillets with a Piri Piri Flavouring, 200g. Salt per 100g – 3.8g (Target – 0.95g)
  • Pizza Express Diavolo Romana, 365g. Salt per 100g – 1.56g (Target – 1.25g)
  • M&S Salt & Vinegar Chiplets, 100g. Salt per 100g – 2.8g (Target – 2.5g)
  • Waitrose Heston from Waitrose Salt Beef Pretzel sub sandwich, 215g. Salt per 100g – 1.65g (Target – 1.5g)
  • Hellmann’s French Dressing, 235ml. Salt per 100g – 1.8g (Target 1.5g)
  • Quorn 4 Southern Fried Chicken Burgers, 252g. Salt per 100g – 2g (Target – 1.25g)
  • Galaxy Ultimate Marshmallow Hot Chocolate, 275g. Salt per 100g – 2.5g (Target – 0.15g)

A spokesperson for Mars told The Telegraph: ‘Our Galaxy Ultimate Marshmallow Hot Chocolate is an indulgent treat that comes as a powder.

‘Each 25g serving of the powder diluted with hot water contains 0.6g of salt, some of which comes from the intrinsic sodium in milk and other ingredients and some of which is added to enhance the chocolatey flavour.

Galaxy hot chocolate has been found to be 'saltier than seawater'

‘As a business, we continually work to improve the nutritional profile of products across our whole range, while maintaining the best possible taste for our consumers.’

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