High amounts of sodium lurk in even the healthiest hawker meals!
Our bodies need sodium. Simply put, we can’t function without it. It’s crucial in regulating the water balance in our bodies so we won’t dehydrate.
That said, the intake of sodium for the average Singaporean has quickly turned into an unhealthy obsession, with most of us easily exceeding our daily sodium limit every day. Those few hundred (or thousand) extra milligrammes could be the culprit behind your increasing waistline.
A study from Queen Mary University of London revealed that one’s obesity risk increases by 25% for every extra gramme of salt you eat per day. This is because sodium alters the way our body absorbs fat. Yikes! An excess of sodium also causes our bodies to retain water weight, which will increase the number on the scale.
You may rarely use the salt shaker but there are horrific amounts of sodium hidden in our go-to hawker meals, conveniently packaged snacks and even our favourite dips and drinks!
The National Kidney Foundation of Singapore recommends no more than 2000 mg of sodium a day. If you think that you’re doing just fine with your broth-based hawker dishes, think again. Fish soup, a considerably healthy hawker choice contains a total of 1413 mg of sodium- that’s already more than half your daily sodium limit! Other favourites like Ban Mian and Prawn Mee pack a whopping 2196 and 2422 mg respectively. Chicken rice has not been spared either, coming in at 1287 mg.
Even in a health-conscious country like Singapore, busting our daily sodium limit is easier than we think. But since we love the convenience of our ubiquitous coffee shops, simply read the following tips to make a change in your eating habits.
Be sure to leave most of the soup behind when having soup-based dishes because that’s where most of the sodium lurks. Also, order your chicken or duck rice dishes without the skin and don’t make it a habit to add a saucer filled with soy sauce to accompany your meal.
If you want to bring your sodium intake down even further, the best way is simply to cook your meals at home. That’s delicious food all the same, just without the additives and MSG!
Bent on time? Follow these easy recipes and try bringing them to work at least a few times a week. Or click on this link for yummy salads that you can pack within a few minutes. Be a healthier and slimmer version of yourself sans the bloating tummy!