Low Salt Diet

Lifestyle Preventative Health and Medications > Low Salt Diet

Low Salt/No Added Salt Diet

What is salt? 

Salt (also commonly known as sodium) is needed by the body to control fluid volume and to allow normal function of your muscle and nervous system. However, most people consume more salt than is required for good health.


How much salt do I need? 

The average Singaporean consumes around two times more salt than the recommended daily intake. The Health Promotion Board recommends that Singaporean adults should aim to not exceed 5g of salt intake per day (equivalent to 2000mg sodium).


Why is salt bad? 

Excessive intake of salt over time is associated with high blood pressure, which can lead to serious health problems such as heart failure, stroke and kidney disease. In advanced liver disease, eating too much salt can cause accumulation of fluids around the stomach (ascites) and swelling of the feet and legs (oedema).

Reducing the amount of salt that you consume not only prevents the collection of fluids in your body but it also helps to lower blood pressure and the risk of chronic diseases.

People with these conditions may be advised to follow a low salt diet or a no added salt diet.

No added salt diet means no salt is added during food preparation, cooking or when eating meals.

Sodium in food 

Sodium can be found naturally in almost all foods. It can also be added to foods to add flavour or use as a preservative.

Processed and preserved foods including instant meals, canned foods, pickles and snacks are major sources of sodium. Sauces and condiments can also be high in sodium.


How do I cut down my salt intake? 

To reduce the amount of salt in your diet, it is important to:

  • Avoid intake of processed and preserved foods containing a high amount of added salt
  • Limit usage of salt and sauces at the table and in cooking
  • Select predominantly fresh unprocessed produce such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains and lean meat when shopping
  • Read nutrition information panel for an accurate measure of sodium in per serving of food. Choose food products labelled ‘low salt’ or ‘no added salt’.
  • Ask for lower salt options when eating out

Cutting down salt intake can be difficult. Gradually reduce your intake of salt and allow 4 – 6 weeks for your taste buds to accept and adjust to a lower salt diet.

For further information on a low salt/ no added salt diet, seek advice from a medical physician or an accredited dietitian.