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Food Safety Focus (176th Issue, MArch 2021) – Food Incident Highlight

Sodium and Total Fat Contents of Vegetarian Food

Vegetarian diet is acclaimed as a healthy option, and seldom do the public notice the sodium and total fat contained in vegetarian dishes. The Centre for Food Safety has recently released the results of a joint study with the Consumer Council on local vegetarian dishes. Although samples were not high in sodium and total fat in general, few had more sodium and total fat compared with others. Sauces add extra sodium, and cooking methods like deep frying will increase the total fat contents of dishes. While some may consider vegetarian burgers as healthier options, they actually contained higher sodium than beef burgers.

To reduce salt and total fat in vegetarian food, the trade can choose raw ingredients with lower sodium and total fat. Sauces can be served on the side. Consumers can ask for less salt and less oil options of the food when ordering, and reduce the portion size of intake. Before dipping food into a sauce, it is advised to taste the food first and dip lightly if desired.

Figure 2: Sauces can be served on the side when serving food