How Healthy Is Your Hot Pot Meal?

Healthcare experts say not really.
Tuesday 18 February 2020
How healthy is your hot pot meal? Photo: Pixabay

Bad news to all hot pot lovers: it might be best to limit your hot pot meals to just once per month.

According to Mount Alvernia Hospital in Singapore, too much hot pot could increase your chances of having high blood pressure, kidney problems, weight gain and heart disease. This is partly due to the amount of sodium in the broth.

The Singaporean health expert compared the sodium levels of seven types of the most popular hot pot broth, and found that all of them exceeded a person’s recommended daily allowance of 2,000mg – which is about a teaspoon – of salt per day.

Flavoursome broths such as Bak Kut Teh are the worst offenders as they are over six times the daily sodium limit – about 12,800mg of salt per 100ml portion. Classic options like seafood broth amounts up to 7,600mg, while even the healthier options such as tomato (3,800mg), spicy tomato (2,800mg) and mushroom broth (5,700mg) exceeded the daily limit by a significant margin.

Processed ingredients are yet another culprit to why hot pot aren’t the healthiest of meals. Diners should be wary when eating items such as fishballs, meatballs, luncheon meat and sausages. Just 10 of these ingredients per meal will cause a person to exceed the recommended daily sodium limit, even more so if they are combined with salty broth and dipping sauces.

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It isn’t just hot pots that aren’t healthy – meals that revolve around broth and sauces generally have high sodium content.

However, should you still have an insatiable urge to consume the wholesome meal more than once a month, there is one way to go around it: just drink less broth and have less processed ingredients.

Plus, it’s good to note that your hot pot meal actually varies widely in nutritional value depending on the ingredients you choose. Opt for low-calorie and healthy items, such as vegetables, tofu and lean meat, such as chicken and fish. There is still hope.

Source: Mount Alvernia Hospital