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Magdalin Cheong, Head/Deputy Director, Department of Dietetic and Food Services at Changi General Hospital (CGH), a member of the SingHealth group, shares easy ways to reduce salt in your diet when eating at home, eating out and grocery shopping.

How to reduce sodium in your diet


  1. Choose fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry and fish.

  2. Limit processed foods e.g. canned, salted, cured, smoked and pickled foods, and convenience and pre-packaged foods.

  3. Season food with natural flavourings, such as:         
    • Fresh or dried herbs (e.g. parsley, coriander, mint, basil, onions, garlic, ginger, chives and spring onions).
    • Spices (e.g. cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, pepper, curry powder, five spice powder and chilli).
    • Vinegar, fresh lemon, lime and fruit juices.
      Sesame oil and olive oil.

  4. Taste your food before adding salt and/or sauces. If more flavouring is needed, add sparingly. To let your tastebuds adapt to less salty food, gradually reduce the amount of salt and/or sauces added during cooking and at the table.

  5. Substitute salty snacks such as potato chips and salted nuts, with fresh or dried fruits and unsalted nuts.


  1. Ask for less or no gravy.

  2. Ask for less or no salt or sauces added during cooking.

  3. Skip the soup when having soupy dishes.

  4. Limit sauces and avoid adding extra salt at the table.

  5. Choose plain rice instead of flavoured rice.


  1. Read labels for comparison. Choose products that contain less sodium, such as those labelled as “reduced salt”, “low in salt”, “no added salt” or “salt-free”.

  2. Choose products with the Healthier Choice symbol as they contain less sodium than similar products.

  3. Avoid products that list salt or sodium as one of the first three ingredients in the ingredient list.

  4. Salt substitutes may help you cut back on sodium. However, they are high in potassium and may not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions. Check with your doctor, dietitian or pharmacist before using salt substitutes.
Ref: N18