How can a hungry person possibly stay healthy at hawker centres and food courts in Singapore? By being smart with our healthy hawker food picks!
When lunch or dinnertime hits, It’s easy to just head to the food court or hawker centre and if we are not careful, we can end up with a 745-calorie fried
kway teow complete with cockles and bits of crunchy lard, or a 756-calorie
nasi biryani with chicken. Oops!
Which are the healthier choices? Follow these expert tips to tuck into a hawker meal without busting the 500-calorie limit; because tasty can also be healthy.
A helpful guide is
My Healthy Plate, a friendly visual tool designed for Singaporeans to achieve balance diet.
My Healthy Plate’s key eating habits are:
My Healthy Plate
Instead, choose steamed, braised, roasted or stir-fried dishes. Get fresh
popiah instead of deep-fried spring rolls. Choose a braised soya sauce chicken instead of
ayam goreng. The non-fried versions are still tasty and will be equally satisfying, especially for our waistlines.
From Goreng to Grill — Healthier Cooking Methods
Think of vegetables and fruit as our fountain of youth — they are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients and fibre. If we are having economical rice, choose meat dishes that have some vegetables in them. If having soup dishes, request for more vegetables.
Smart Ways to Fill Up on Vegetables and Fruits
Generally, sauces, gravy and curry are high in calories, salt and sugar. Avoid adding gravy or curry to rice, and leave the sauces on the side for dipping. If you’re having salad, don’t drown it in dressing!
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Wholegrains contain fibre, have more flavour and provide bulk that helps us feel full longer. They are also important sources of nutrients like zinc, magnesium and vitamin B.
Opt for brown rice over white rice, or other whole grain options like
chapatti, wholemeal pasta, or brown rice noodles.
A Guide to Carbs
Reduce the fat in our meals by asking for less oil, and avoid dishes with coconut milk and gravy (which are typically made from fat). Choose chicken breast instead of chicken thigh, and remove visible fat and skin from meat.
Singapore is a food paradise and the food courts are filled with all kinds of tasty and calorie-laden meals, but we can still find tasty, healthy 500-calorie choices. Look out for food stalls displaying the Healthier Dining Programme (HDP) decal that tells you the healthier options available.
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This article was last reviewed on
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
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