Don’t Eat So Much Hotpot For CNY Because There’s Too Much Sodium For Your Body To Tahan

This weekend will mark a time of celebration for many Chinese families, and the festivities start on Friday (24 Jan) on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Most families will gather together for a huge reunion dinner that’s often centred around  steamboat or hotpot.


Mount Alvernia Hospital issued a timely advisory for all you hotpot addicts out there — just once a month is enough.

This is because the amount of sodium in the broths far exceeds our recommended daily intake.

Seafood & chicken broths one of the saltiest

Mount Alvernia’s timely wake-up call public service announcement (PSA) revealed the ‘healthiest’ broths and those with sky-high sodium levels.

The graph also shows that even soup bases that have the lowest sodium content already exceed our recommended intake.

And that’s without consideration of the liao that we eat.


Yes, you read that right. Popular soup broths like seafood and chicken exceed our daily recommended by 3.83 times and 4.9 times respectively when we take only one bowl of soup.

The ‘top scorer’ is bak kut teh — which has 6.4 times more sodium than what we should have.


Say it ain’t so!

Sodium content not inclusive of hotpot ingredients

As mentioned above, the sodium content listed is for soups only.

Typical hotpot ingredients like fishballs, hotdogs and fatty pork will also contribute to a caloric meal — 50g of pork belly has 230 calories and 20g of fat, which is akin to eating a curry puff.


Processed foods are high in sodium too. The hospital points out that just having 10 fishballs or meatballs cooked in broth with dipping sauces will exceed the limits.

Choose clear broths instead

In light of all the feasting ahead of us, it’s important to know what makes a hotpot healthier.

Mount Alvernia suggests that clear or light-flavoured soups should be chosen instead.

Apart from having more veggies than meat, it will be wise to cut down on ingredients like processed foods and offal like pig intestines.

Watch out for how much dipping sauces you’re having. An alternative would be to combine minced garlic, cut chillies, and a little bit of soy sauce.


For more tips, check out Mount Alvernia’s advisory here.

Have a healthy CNY

Ultimately, the most important tip is just to limit how much of the soup you drink. Having too much food with high fat and sodium is a recipe for disaster as it can lead to health problems with your heart and kidney respectively.

Last but not least, remember to cook your meat fully, or you might end up with food poisoning or parasites in your brain.

MS News wishes everyone a healthy and prosperous Year of the Rat.

Featured image adapted from Facebook and Fried Chillies.