Singapore Diet – Eat Healthy at Hawker Centres

Care should be taken when eating high-calorie foods like desserts and snacks, according to Dr. Tham Kwang Wei, director of the Lifestyle Improvement and Fitness Enhancement Centre. Many do not realize how many extra calories they are taking in by consuming processed or calorically dense food products.

This study employs an ethnically diverse and nationally representative sample of Singaporeans to conduct an in-depth examination of their habitual nutrient consumption using an FFQ, and assess dietary quality and weight status using Mediclaims hospital discharge data.

1. Thunder Tea Rice

Lei Cha (Thunder Tea Rice), an authentic Hakka dish, is relatively new to our hawker centres. In essence an ancient Chinese version of a grain bowl, lei cha requires painstaking pulverisation of herbs and vegetables such as mugwort, basil leaves, tea leaves and nuts, before pouring it onto a hearty mix of vegetables, tofu and rice for consumption.

This stall serves up some of the finest lei cha in town. Their rich green tea soup features botanical notes, while their rice comes adorned with delicious toppings like cai xin, cabbage, chai poh and crunchy peanuts for extra protein-packed goodness. Plus! Try their delectable Hakka fried pork!

Living Wholesome Vegetarian makes eating healthily effortless with their Kosong Set option, featuring less rice but still offering ample amounts of proteins, carbs, fats and fibre.

2. Chicken Rice

Singaporeans love dining at hawker centres to experience different cultures and cuisines, and to enjoy food when it suits them best. Eating out allows people to avoid cooking while also eating at times that suit them best.

Although choosing healthier meals while dining out may seem like an intimidating challenge, its rewards can be significant. People who eat healthily are likely to consume more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and salt while switching out saturated fats for unsaturated ones.

Make an effort to request low sodium versions of dishes and limit sauces and seasonings which contain high levels of salt to lower blood pressure and risk for stomach and nasopharyngeal cancers. This will also help you save money.

3. Nasi Lemak

Nasi lemak (literally “rice, mother”) is a traditional Malay and Singaporean breakfast dish consisting of fragrant coconut milk rice flavoured with pandan leaves, often served alongside cucumber slices, boiled egg slices, fried chicken cutlet or otah pieces, anchovy sambal (anchovy sauce) and peanuts as accompaniments.

At first glance, most condiments on a plate will consist of palm sugar and salt; however, chillies pounded with garlic, shallots and ginger contain capsaicin which causes heat in your mouth – known as “chemesthesis”.

According to a nutrition survey, most Singaporeans consume too much salt and sugar. Excess sodium consumption may lead to elevated blood pressure levels as well as stomach and nasopharyngeal cancers; portion control is key to improved health; replacing processed food with natural herbs and spices may help limit sodium, sugar, and fat consumption.

4. Satay

Satay is an immensely popular street food, comprised of grilled meat served on skewers with peanut sauce – both locals and travellers alike enjoy it!

One of the key advantages of satay is its health benefits: low in calories and sodium content while being rich in fibre and protein content. However, as it contains fat, moderation should be observed when eating this fatty food.

Lydia Izzati, founder of Satay Ummi – a small business specialising in satay goreng – says their focus lies on maintaining tradition and authentic flavors. Their order volume increases two or three times during festive seasons and they plan to introduce live stations or cater to corporate events; furthermore they plan on using natural sweeteners in their sauces to reduce sugar intake while eliminating dependency on packaged sugar products.

5. Indian Rojak

Rojak (or mamak rojak) is an iconic local hawker dish with many options for the diner. It typically consists of both fried and steamed fritters or vegetables served alongside peanut sauce for dipping; many stalls even allow diners to select their ingredients directly!

Rojak encapsulates Singapore in many ways – it combines all sorts of tasty goodies into an irresistibly pleasing concoction! GOLD 905 listeners voted it one of their favourite local delicacies.

Singaporeans are becoming more adept at eating healthier food, yet it remains necessary to be wary of the excessive amounts of salt and sugar contained in some hawker foods – this could lead to excessive weight gain and an increase in non-communicable diseases risk.

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