Skip the sausages and bacon for once.
New to lontong and char siew pau for a true Singaporean breakfast? Being the culinary haven that Singapore is, there’s more to breakfast than just a large fry up or a bowl of cereal. But before you dive into a delicious-looking option, just keep these important health tips in mind.
One serving – You’re consuming empty calories. The grated coconut and red sugar also give you a mid-morning crash after the initial spike in sugar.
Healthier gratification – Limit yourself to one teaspoon each of grated coconut and sugar for one serving of putu mayam. Saves 96 calories.
One serving – (four pieces of steamed rice cake with preserved radish and chilli). This is really oily and high in sodium (900mg).
Healthier gratification – Go easy on the chilli – it’s the main culprit behind the high sodium and fat content.
One serving – It’s high in fat, and the amount of protein you get from the bits of chicken doesn’t add much to your recommended dietary intake.
Healthier gratification – Have just half a portion to satisfy your craving without piling on fat.
One bun – For an item that would do little to satiate you first thing in the morning, it’s high in calories and carbs (45g). And, chances are, you won’t stop at one.
Healthier gratification – Red bean (205 calories), lotus seed (170 calories) and vegetable (150 calories) buns are better options.
One serving – (two slices of white bread, two teaspoons of kaya and one teaspoon of butter). This well-loved, traditional breakfast food contains trans-fat from the butter.
Healthier gratification – Lay off the butter, and you’ll shave off 44 calories.
One bowl – served with meat, egg, century egg and spring onions. This is high in cholesterol (370mg), exceeding the recommended daily cholesterol intake of 300mg.
Healthier gratification – Go for fish porridge (211 calories) instead – it’s lower in cholesterol.
One serving – The potato filling coupled with the rice wrap makes this a double-carb combo (52.4g).
Healthier gratification – Get the plain thosai instead (100 calories). Otherwise, have just half of the masala thosai.
One plate – served with a fried egg and a slice of fried luncheon meat. High carb (48.1g) and sodium (1,120mg) content aside, this is also low in dietary fibre (just 4g). You should be eating about 20g of fibre a day.
Healthier gratification – Avoid the luncheon meat and other fried items – these are high in fat and sodium.
One plate – with dark sweet sauce. This contains 35g of fat and 1,290mg of sodium, close to the daily recommended limits.
Healthier gratification – Opt for the white version. Sweet sauce can pack 50 to 100 calories.
One bowl – served with one hard-boiled egg. This is both high in salt (2,160mg) and cholesterol (206mg) – not something you want first thing in the morning.
Healthier gratification – Leave half to a quarter of the noodles behind – you’ll be halving the calories too.
One plate – It contains 11.4g of saturated fat, thanks to the coconut milk.
Healthier gratification – Ask for a half portion of rice and you’ll save half of the fat content.
One serving – its carb-heavy (77g) and you’ll hit the daily recommended sodium intake with just this one dish.
Healthier gratification – If you must order this, share it with a friend!
Two pieces – (one egg and one plain). Besides being high in carbs (60g), the margarine that’s usually used to fry prata often contains trans fats.
Healthier gratification – Stick to three tablespoons of curry for each piece of prata to cut down on your fat and cholesterol intake.
One serving – It’s high in sodium (2150mg), cholesterol (206mg) and carbs (61.4g).
Healthier gratification – Get a chicken murtabak instead and save yourself about 98 calories.
One plate – It packs a whopping 2,660mg of sodium.
Healthier gratification – Save about 174 calories by leaving a quarter of the noodles behind.
One bowl – This contains a total of 40g of fat and 21.6g of saturated fat. You’ve also just about reached the daily recommended sodium intake of 2,000mg.
Healthier gratification – Resist the gravy and you’ll ditch more than half the fat and calories.
By Aretha Loh, Her World Fit & Fab, Issue #3, 2014 / Updated by Muneerah Bee, July 2019
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