Dishing on Salt πŸ§‚

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Can you name some food that are high in salt?

Pickled vegetables, canned foods, salted fish, salted egg… Did you know that foods such as bread, cornflakes and instant soups are actually considered high-salt items?

Recommended Intake

The recommended daily allowance is a maximum of 5 grams of salt per day, but the National Nutrition Survey done in 2018 showed that the average Singaporean consumes 9 grams of salt per day – nearly twice of what is recommended!

Salt is sometimes called sodium. Actually, the common white table salt is a combination of sodium and chloride. 1 teaspoon of salt (5g of salt) contains 2000mg of sodium, so we should be limiting our sodium intake to no more than 2000mg per day, which is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of salt per day.

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A major complication from excessive sodium intake is high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. It can lead to heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. Patients with end-stage kidney failure may require dialysis for the rest of their lives. Reducing the amount of sodium can help manage blood pressure in healthy individuals and those with high blood pressure.

Sodium Content of Foods

Most of the sodium we eat are from hidden sources. It comes from processed foods and seasonings that are adding during food preparation. If you eat out often, you are likely to exceed the limit for sodium because food stalls tend to add more seasonings to make their food taste better. Do you know how much sodium is in what you eat?

Food Item

Sodium Content

Chili sauce (1 tablespoon)

230mg

Ketchup (1 tablespoon)

154mg

Soy sauce (1 tablespoon)

920mg

Oyster sauce (1 tablespoon)

850mg

Fish sauce (1 tablespoon)

1422mg
Chicken rice (1 plate, 330g)

698mg

Prawn noodle (1 bowl, 574g)

2422mg

Nasi goreng (1 plate, 377g)

1467mg

Laksa (1 bowl)

7904mg

Nasi biryani with chicken (1 plate, 488g)

1656mg

 

Label Reading

Reading the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) on food packaging can help you make better and healthier purchases. Follow these steps to shop better:

  1. Look for the NIP, like this:

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2. Look for the sodium content per 100g or 100ml of the food product

3. Compare 2 similar items to see which one has lower sodium content (Tip: Compare similar items like Brand A canned tuna to Brand B canned tuna, or different flavours of canned tuna. Do not compare items that are completely different to each other, like bread to tuna!)

If there is no NIP, you can refer to the ingredient list. If you see any of these names in the first three items, it is probably high in sodium so you should limit intake of that food!

Salt / Sea salt

Himalayan pink salt Fleur de sel

Seasoning

Kosher salt

Brine

Rock salt MSG

Sodium prefix (e.g. sodium chloride)

 


If you have any general inquiries about diet and nutrition, you can contact us at our

Call-A-Dietitian hotline 983-22-983 !

Brought to you by Magan Ho, Senior Dietitian of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

Follow us on Instagram @ktph.dietitians for more nutritional goodness!

 

Reference:

Snacks photo retrieved from: https://www.foodandwine.com/news/study-shows-salty-foods-dont-make-you-thirsty-after-all?amp=true

Teaspoon salt retrieved from: https://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/nutrition-101/recommended-sodium-intake?amp=true

Sodium content of food items retrieved from: HPB energy and macronutrient composition of food

 

 

 

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