less sugar and less salt

By Health Promotion Board

With the Healthier Choice Symbol, we can easily find food products that contain more healthy nutrients like wholegrains and calcium. But besides choosing nutrient-rich food, we also want to cut down on unhealthy stuff.

Here's where the next two variants come in handy: "Lower in Sugar" and "Lower in Sodium".

Sweet Nothings

Products with the "Lower in Sugar" variant carry at least 25 percent less sugar compared to unlabelled drinks and products in the same food category.

The next time you roam the drinks aisle, keep your eyes peeled for the "Lower in Sugar" variant.

You can find it on certain Asian drinks (think Chrysanthemum tea), sweetened drinks, carbonated drinks, cultured milk products and fruit juice.

Drink these instead of sugar-loaded beverages, as added sugars in food provide empty calories with little nutritional value — too much could lead to excess energy intake, weight gain and obesity, which increases risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

Read these next: Make a Healthier Choice Today

A Pinch of Salt

Besides cutting down on sugar, we also want to avoid eating too much sodium, or salt.

The "Lower in Sodium" variant indicates that food products contain at least 25 percent less sodium than similar products — useful if you're slashing salt from your diet.

Why consume less sodium? Eating too much sodium can increase blood pressure, which is a risk factor for stroke and kidney disease.

Of course, you don't have to cut out all salt content: stick to a limit of 2,000mg of sodium per day.

Foodies can rejoice — low sodium doesn't mean bland. You'll find the "Lower in Sodium" variant on flavourful sauces, mixes and pastes, as well as crunchy nuts and seeds. Other items include canned and processed meats and processed seafood-based products.

So the next time you're hankering for a sweet or savoury treat, go for the healthier choices.

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