If you’re trying to lead a healthier lifestyle or simply searching for budget-friendly places to dine, Singapore offers plenty of choices.
Eating foods that are lower in oil/fat and sugar, as well as high in fibre, is the key to weight loss. Furthermore, these meals tend to be cheaper over time.
1. Eat out at food courts
If you’re searching for affordable, healthy food in Singapore, hawker centres are your go-to. A full meal here can be had for as little as S$4 and most dishes come with freshly squeezed fruit juice.
It’s well-known that the healthiest diet is one with mostly whole foods and minimal processed ingredients. That’s why many people turn towards vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diets for their nutritional needs.
There are also plenty of restaurants that specialize in these kinds of cuisines, and they tend to be quite budget friendly!
For instance, Real Food Cafe is a go-to spot for those on diets who want to stay away from meat, processed foods and trans-fat. Here they offer an array of healthy choices such as refined sugar-free dishes, hormone-free chicken and smoothies packed with superfoods.
2. Go vegetarian
Vegetarianism offers many advantages, such as weight loss, reduced cholesterol levels, improved energy levels and greater stamina. However, it can be challenging to completely cut out meat from your diet.
Vegetarians in Singapore have plenty of delicious and filling options to choose from. In fact, more and more people are opting for a vegetarian diet for health, spirituality or environmental reasons.
Though vegetarianism often connotes bland, tasteless meals, there are many vegetarian restaurants in Singapore that offer delicious dishes without compromising flavor or sustainability.
At Real Food, their homemade dumplings are filled with organic ingredients like carrots, mushrooms, beancurd, turnip and chestnuts. Furthermore, they offer energizing smoothies and gluten-free dishes to suit every need.
3. Avoid sugary drinks
When trying to maintain a healthy diet, sugary drinks should be avoided. They have the potential for obesity, tooth decay, heart disease and diabetes if consumed in excess.
Many countries are taking action to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks. They’ve implemented taxation on these drinks with a portion of the proceeds going towards health promotion initiatives.
Singapore recently initiated a campaign to encourage people to reduce their sugary beverage intake by 2021 – an effort in the fight against obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
The campaign has gained the backing of local leaders and government officials. It includes a ban on advertising for drinks with added sugar as well as requirements that they display color-coded front-of-pack nutrition labels.
According to a recent study, the two healthiest bubble tea options are brown sugar milk tea with pearls (8.5 teaspoons of sugar) and winter melon tea (16 teaspoons). Instead of these unhealthy options, opt for passion fruit green tea or jasmine green tea with fruit toppings.
4. Look for Healthier Choice Symbols
When shopping for inexpensive healthy food, look for products bearing the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS). The HCS symbol can quickly tell you which items are healthier alternatives.
To qualify for the Healthy Choice Scheme (HCS), products must meet certain nutrient guidelines set by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board. These criteria include being lower in fat, sodium and sugars; or providing good sources of calcium or wholegrains.
However, it’s essential to remember that a product may offer these advantages but still not be an optimal choice for health. For instance, ice cream could contain many calories and sugar.
To be eligible for the HCS program, manufacturers must present a nutrient analysis report demonstrating their product meets all necessary nutrient guidelines.
Additionally, the Healthier Choice Symbol works in concert with other labelling measures. A recent study discovered that adding the HCS to beverages resulted in an increase of five percent in purchase frequency when combined with a nutrition claim.