WORLD SALT AWARENESS WEEK
Did you know that the average daily salt intake of Singaporeans is 9g? This is almost 2 times more than the maximum allowance of 5g a day!
Salt Awareness Week aims to encourage people to reduce salt consumption and protect their cardiovascular health. Too much salt in our diet can lead to many cardiovascular diseases. Our body only needs 186mg of sodium every day, however, in Singapore, with processed and instant foods that make up most of our day-to-day meals - many of us are hitting well above targets.
What is the recommended daily intake of sodium for Singaporeans?
The Singapore Heart Foundation recommends a sodium intake of not more than 2g of sodium daily. This is because excessive salt intake can cause not only high blood pressure but heart disease, stroke and causes calcium losses (some of which may be pulled from the bone). However, this does not mean that we should cut out sodium entirely. Sodium is a necessary nutrient for good health. It acts as an electrolyte in your body, helps to maintain normal fluid balance and plays a key role in normal nerve and muscle functions.
So what can we do to reduce our sodium intake?
There are actually a few simple ways to reduce sodium intake! One is to check the Nutrition Facts label, look out for reduced sodium options, and buy fresh meats and produce and prepare home-cooked meals as much as possible. Additionally, rinsing canned foods containing sodium (such as beans, tuna and vegetables) and replacing salt with spices can also lower the amount of sodium you consume.
We all have our favourite condiments. But do you check the nutritional labels or know how much sodium goes into it before buying these condiments? Condiments can significantly increase the amount of sodium in your diet because most of them contain a large amount of added salt to extend their shelf life and to enhance the flavour.
Healthier options? We got your back! You can replace your normal tomato ketchup with tomato salsa or soy sauce with coconut aminos (a thin brown condiment that is very similar in appearance to soy sauce). Additionally, other healthier condiments that you can have are pesto, hummus, guacamole, nut butter and raw honey.
We have compiled some popular condiments below and how much sodium it contains so you’ll be more careful when adding that extra one tablespoon to flavour your meals. Remember to choose the lower-sodium options where possible to reduce your risk of developing hypertension.