Controlling Sodium Intake for a Healthier Lifestyle



Sodium is an essential mineral for our bodies, but too much sodium increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. So what is the recommended daily sodium intake? According to the World Health Organization, adults should consume less than 2000mg of sodium per day. For people with hypertension, daily sodium intake should not exceed 1500mg.  

Consuming excessive sodium causes the body to retain more fluid, increasing blood pressure. Common symptoms include edema (swelling), headaches, dizziness, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. In severe cases, hypertensive crisis may occur with symptoms like vision/hearing impairment, breathing difficulties, chest pain and confusion.

So which foods are high in sodium? Here are some common high-sodium foods:

1. Instant noodles – The sauce in instant noodles contains extremely high sodium concentration. On average, a pack of instant noodles can provide over 1000mg of sodium.  

2. Cured meats – Meats like ham and sausages get very high in sodium during the curing and drying process.

3. Fast food items like burgers, pizza and fried chicken are loaded with sodium from various flavoring agents.  

4. Canned foods like vegetables and fruits – Salt is the most commonly used preservative, making canned foods generally high in sodium. 

5. Pickled foods like pickles, chutneys and cured meat are packed with sodium.

6. Phosphate beverages like sodas and sports drinks are a major dietary source of sodium.

So how can we reduce sodium intake? 

1. Limit consumption of instant noodles, processed meats and pickled foods. 

2. Replace processed foods with fresh fruits and vegetables.

3. Avoid directly adding salt or soy sauce when cooking. Use herbs, garlic, onions, lemon juice for flavor instead.  

4. Opt for steamed or stir-fried dishes instead of heavily-flavored ones when dining out.  

5. Carry low-sodium beverages instead of soda or sports drinks.  

Controlling sodium intake through the above methods helps prevent hypertension and associated health risks. Changing dietary habits is the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. Let’s embrace better living ahead!


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