Salt, or sodium chloride, is a crucial component of our diet that enhances the flavour of food and plays a vital role in various physiological processes in the body. However, excessive salt intake has been linked to several health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. 

What is The Recommended Salt Intake?

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) of Singapore recommends consuming less than 5 grams of salt per day for adults to reduce the risk of hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases. However, many people in Singapore and around the world consume much more than the recommended amount.

Health Risks of Excessive Salt Consumption

High Blood Pressure

Consuming too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Cardiovascular Diseases

High salt intake has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke.

Kidney Damage

Excessive salt consumption can put a strain on the kidneys, potentially leading to kidney damage and decreased kidney function.


High salt intake may contribute to calcium loss, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Tips for Reducing Salt Intake

Reducing salt intake can be challenging, especially with the prevalence of processed and packaged foods that are often high in sodium. However, making conscious food choices and adopting healthier cooking practices can help reduce salt consumption.

Read Food Labels

Check the sodium content on food labels and opt for low-sodium or salt-free alternatives when possible.

Limit Processed and Packaged Foods

Processed and packaged foods, including canned soups, sauces, and snacks, are often high in sodium. Choosing fresh, whole foods can help reduce salt intake.

Use Herbs and Spices for Flavour

Instead of relying on salt to enhance the flavour of food, experiment with herbs, spices, and other flavourings to add taste to your meals.

Be Mindful When Eating Out

Restaurant meals can be high in salt. When dining out, choose dishes that are lower in sodium or ask for the dish to be prepared without added salt.

Cook at Home

Cooking meals at home allows you to control the amount of salt added to your food and opt for healthier cooking methods, such as steaming, grilling, or roasting.

While salt is an essential part of our diet, excessive salt consumption can have detrimental effects on our health, including an increased risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and kidney damage. By being mindful of our salt intake, reading food labels, and making healthier food choices, we can reduce our sodium consumption and promote better overall health based on Singapore’s Health Promotion Board guidelines.


Health Promotion Board, Singapore. (2019). Eat Less Salt. HPB 

He, F. J., & MacGregor, G. A. (2009). A comprehensive review on salt and health and current experience of worldwide salt reduction programmes. Journal of Human Hypertension, 23(6), 363-384. PubMed 

Mozaffarian, D., Fahimi, S., Singh, G. M., Micha, R., Khatibzadeh, S., Engell, R. E., … & Ezzati, M. (2014). Global sodium consumption and death from cardiovascular causes. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(7), 624-634. NEJM 

Farquhar, W. B., Edwards, D. G., Jurkovitz, C. T., & Weintraub, W. S. (2015). Dietary sodium and health: more than just blood pressure. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 65(10), 1042-1050. PubMed 

Devine, A., Criddle, R. A., Dick, I. M., Kerr, D. A., & Prince, R. L. (1995). A longitudinal study of the effect of sodium and calcium intakes on regional bone density in postmenopausal women. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 62(4), 740-745. PubMed 

Health Promotion Board, Singapore. (2021). Lower Your Sodium Intake. HPB 

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