A healthy diet doesn’t mean depriving yourself of desserts. Learn how to cut down sugar so that you can “have your kueh and eat it”.
Depriving yourself of your favourite desserts like chendol only makes you desire it more. And when you’re within munching distance of it, you’re also more likely to overindulge and end up eating too much. Cue the guilt and the vicious cycle.
The smart thing to do is to eat desserts in moderation, and balance your indulgences with a nutritious and healthy diet. Instead of telling yourself that dessert is off-limits, why not share a portion of chendol with your friends! This way, you’re less likely to guiltily guzzle two bowls of icy
chendol in one sitting.
Besides moderation, another healthy eating tool is substitution. Let’s look at healthier alternatives to sugar, flour and fat.
Makan Matters - What's a Healthy Diet?
Sugar gives you energy without nutrients, and eating too much sugar could bring about obesity and a higher risk of diabetes. Slash the sugar with these alternatives!
Sweeteners such as stevia and xylitol contain fewer calories than sugar (fun fact: stevia’s calorie-free!). Plus, they won’t cause a spike to your blood glucose levels.
Use sweetener in desserts and baked goods that don’t depend on sugar for bulk or caramelization.
Adjust the amount of sweetener you use; they’re much sweeter than sugar.
Gradually decrease the amount of sweetener you use — train your palate, and learn to enjoy the subtler flavours in food!
Try this out! Use sweetener instead of rock sugar in Chinese sweet broiled soups.
Fruit is another alternative that is sweet and also provides additional nutrients. Raisins chopped in a food processor are a good substitute for sugar.
Experiment by replacing sugar with chopped or pureed fruit. Give your desserts a flavour- and fibre-boost with fresh fruit like apples, pears, mango and pineapple.
Fruit contain liquids, so you might have to reduce the amount of liquid you add when baking.
Try this out! Top homemade
ice kacang with unsweetened fruit juice or puree, instead of sugary syrups.
Benefits of Fruits: Fun Fruity Facts for Health
Refined flour contains very few vitamins and minerals, which means your
kuehs, cakes, and pastries aren’t very nutritious. Choose flours that pack additional nutrients for better baked goods.
Wholegrain flours like rye flour, oat flour and wholewheat flour, on the other hand, give baked goods such as cakes and pastries additional nutrients and fibre, and a nutty flavour. These flours will also give more bulk to your dessert, so you feel fuller after eating them.
different ratios when substituting with wholegrain flours to get your desired flavour and texture. Start by replacing every cup of refined flour in the recipe with 1⁄4 cup (25%) of wholewheat flour.
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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