Wed, Dec 16, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Hospital urges low sodium intake

HOT-POT HORROR:Nutritionist Chou Hsiang-te said a one-person serving of hot-pot contains almost the entire daily recommended allowance of 2.4g of sodium

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Medical University Hospital yesterday launched a salt-reduction program to encourage restaurants near the hospital to cut back on the amount of salt used in their food, aimed at helping people to reduce their sodium intake.

The hospital released results of a preliminary survey on sodium levels of food from 10 restaurants near the hospital, which showed that a bowl of pork noodles contained as much as 1.2g of sodium — half the daily recommended sodium intake suggested by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Other food found to contain high sodium levels included crispy spare rib noodles, with 1,166mg, and a mixed vegetable ramen, with 740mg, while hospital nutritionists suggested that seven other dishes should have their sodium levels reduced.

The ministry recommends adults to eat no more than 2,400mg of sodium (or 6g of salt) per day, while the WHO’s guideline for sodium intake for adults recommends less than 2,000mg per day and the American Heart Association recommends less than 1,500mg per day.

According to a survey conducted by the ministry between 2005 and 2008, the average daily sodium intake for people aged between 19 and 64 in Taiwan was 4,580mg per day for men and 3,568mg per day for women, both exceeding recommended levels.

“High sodium levels were mainly found in soup, so we suggest people to reduce the amount of soup they drink, unless the soup was cooked by themselves and they know the amounts of salt and other additives in it,” hospital nutritionist Chou Hsiang-te (周相德) said. “We also suggested restaurants to reduce the amount of salt they use when they are cooking soup.”

“Sometimes it is not easy to tell the amount of sodium in soup just by tasting it, because sugar or other flavoring agents are added,” Chou said.

Chou said that while many people like to eat hot-pot in winter, sodium levels in hot-pot are usually high, with a one-person serving of kimchi hot-pot or spicy hot-pot containing up to 2,000mg of sodium, and common ingredients added into them, especially processed food, such as pork balls or dumplings, each containing about 70mg of sodium.

People should reduce the amount of sauce they use for dipping their hot-pot ingredients in, because one spoonful of soy sauce, chili pepper sauce or broad bean paste can contain up to 600mg of sodium, she said, adding that natural spices, such as onion, garlic or ginger should be used to replace such sauces.

Restaurants participating in the hospital’s salt-reduction program now offer low-sodium versions of the food they serve, if customers ask for it.

This story has been viewed 1960 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top