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Navigating Wellness: A One-Week Low Sodium Diet for Better Blood Pressure

by | Feb 19, 2024 | Lifestyle & Wellness, Wellness

Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is paramount for overall well-being. One effective way to achieve this is through a one-week low-sodium diet. The World Health Organisation recommends less than 2,000mg of sodium daily– roughly 5g of salt, or slightly less than a teaspoon. Contrary to popular belief, embarking on this journey means something other than sacrificing flavour or variety in your meals. Let’s debunk common mistakes of sodium-dense meals and explore delightful low-sodium dishes.

Common Misconceptions About Low-Sodium Foods:

Bland and Tasteless: Low-sodium doesn’t have to mean flavourless. It’s about using alternative, savoury seasonings like herbs, spices, and citrus to enhance taste without compromising health. There’s a misconception that low-sodium diets limit your food options. In reality, a diverse range of delicious, heart-healthy choices is available. Some believe that low-sodium diets require obscure or hard-to-find ingredients. The truth is, that many staples in Singaporean cuisine can be easily adapted for a low-sodium lifestyle.


Hawker Foods That Are Surprisingly High In Salt

Roast chicken rice: Singaporean’s go-to meal has 1,264mg sodium per serving, with one tablespoon of light soya sauce adding 1,240mg to the dish.

Laksa: This delicious coconut-gravy noodle contains 7,904mg of sodium in one portion. Subtract the gravy, and the sodium level dips to 1,592mg.

Mee Goreng: A crowd’s favourite, containing 2,607mg of sodium in one serving.

Seafood ee mian (crispy noodles): 2,227mg sodium per dish. 

Char kway teow: 1,459mg sodium per serving.


What Is A Healthy Blood Pressure Range?

Good blood pressure is a systolic reading of 120mmHg over a diastolic reading of 80mmHg, or 120/80. Singapore defines a normal blood pressure as below 130/85. If you have diabetes or kidney disease, you must aim to keep your blood pressure within 120/80mmHg, as marginally higher blood pressure can increase your risk of developing complications.

Individuals with borderline high blood pressure of 130/85 to 139/89mmHg are considered pre-hypertensive. If your BP is higher than 130/85mmHg most of the time, even at rest, it is a sign to start taking precautions and follow your doctor’s advice to manage your blood pressure.


Proposed One-Week Low-Sodium Diet
Day 1: 

Breakfast: Kaya toast with whole-grain bread, spread thinly with kaya and paired with soft-boiled eggs.

Lunch: Vegetable laksa with rice noodles, loaded with bean sprouts, tofu puffs, and fresh coriander.

Dinner: Hainanese chicken rice made with brown rice, poached chicken breast, and ginger-garlic chili sauce.


Day 2:

Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with sliced bananas, chia seeds, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Lunch: Popiah rolls filled with julienned vegetables, tofu, and a light hoisin sauce.

Dinner: Grilled stingray with a sambal belacan marinade, served with a side of sautéed kangkong.


Day 3:

Breakfast: Breakfast: Kaya toast with whole-grain bread, spread thinly with kaya and paired with soft-boiled eggs.

Lunch: Chicken congee with lean shredded chicken, sliced ginger, and chopped spring onions.

Dinner: Baked sea bass with lemongrass and turmeric and a vegetable-packed stir-fried brown rice.


Day 4:

Breakfast: Whole-grain roti prata with dal curry and cucumber slices.

Lunch: Stir-fried egg noodles with plenty of vegetables, tofu, and a low-sodium soy sauce.

Dinner: Grilled sambal prawns with a side of pineapple fried rice, using less soy sauce.


Day 5:

Breakfast: Kopi O Kosong (black coffee without sugar or milk) and a slice of whole-grain toast with peanut butter.

Lunch: Vegetarian nasi lemak with brown rice, sambal, hard-boiled eggs, and crunchy anchovies.

Dinner: Teriyaki salmon with bok choy and shiitake mushrooms, served over steamed jasmine rice.


Day 6:

Breakfast: Bubur cha cha, a sweet coconut-based dessert soup with yam, sweet potatoes, and tapioca pearls.

Lunch: Stir-fried kailan with garlic and oyster sauce and a small portion of steamed white rice.

Dinner: Sliced beef with broccoli and cashews, stir-fried in ginger sauce, served with quinoa.


Day 7:

Breakfast: Teh O kosong (plain tea without sugar or milk) and a slice of whole-grain kaya toast.

Lunch: Tofu and vegetable curry with roti prata or chapati.

Dinner: Stir-fried black pepper chicken with bell peppers and onions and brown rice.


Feel free to adjust these meals to suit your preferences and dietary needs. These are just a suggestion for low-sodium dishes are inspired by the vibrant flavours of Singaporean cuisine, ensuring you can enjoy delicious meals while keeping your salt intake in check.

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