How to eat healthy in Singapore
Singapore’s a foodie paradise – ask anyone, and they’re bound to have a list of food recommendations up their sleeve. Whether it’s a delish plate of cai fan or a piping hot bowl of prawn mee, there’s no doubt that we’re a food-obsessed country.
But since we’re always on-the-go, it’s not always easy to keep a healthy and balanced diet.
Reap the benefits of healthy eating and manage your weight more effectively with these 5 eating out tips so you can eat healthy in Singapore.
1. Choose steamed or grilled food
Most of us don’t think about how our food is cooked – we’re happy as long as it tastes good. For a healthier meal, consider baked, grilled, stir-fried, or steamed options instead of fried food which are submerged in oil during cooking.
Sakae Sushi has a range of healthy food options, and grilled salmon is always a tasty choice
While most people assume this either means rice congee or herbal soup, there’s an entire bevy of choice out there. Try grilled meats instead of fried chicken wings for a protein fix to reduce your intake of unhealthy saturated fat that does nothing for your health or body image.
It takes some conscious effort but isn’t as difficult as you think. When at a cai fan store, choose steamed egg over a fried omelette. Or when ordering Western fare, choose grilled fish over deep-fried fish.
2. Look for HPB’s “Lower in Calories” identifier
Image credit: HealthHub
One easy way to avoid high calorie meals is by looking for the “Lower in calories” identifier – this means that these meals are less than 500 calories per serving.
Qi Ji’s popiah is delicious and less than 500 calories
This doesn’t necessarily mean lesser in terms of taste or portion. Instead, with hawker dishes like wanton mee or popiah, you can easily fill up on a tasty meal.
3. Avoid sugar sweetened drinks
It’s time to face the hard truth: your daily BBT isn’t the healthiest choice. In fact, most sugary drinks aren’t the healthiest – a canned soft drink has about 35G (7 teaspoons) of sugar. For a healthy diet, HPB recommends not exceeding 10 teaspoons of sugar a day.
1 bubble tea with pearls sets you back ~300 calories
And for additional health benefits, the World Health Organisation says you should reduce to no more than 5 teaspoons of sugar daily.
Instead of that morning kopi o, order up a kopi o kosong instead. And if that BBT is calling out to you, request for less than 50% sugar. Choose drinks that are marked with “Lower in Sugar” tags and when you’ve gotten used to less sugar, try out kosong or zero sugar options.
For the best thirst quenching option, water is always number one.
4. Pick healthier toppings or seasonings
At Simply Wrapps, their Korean Grilled Strip Loin Bowl offers healthy toppings like purple cabbage, kimchi, and broccoli.
Just because we’re eating a “salad”, we think it’s healthy but that might not necessarily be true.
Since it matters what goes into your salad, choose healthier toppings like fresh fruits, beans and legumes, and hard-boiled eggs. Don’t forget about salad dressings too – go for non-creamy bases or ask for the dressing to be served on the side, so you can control exactly how much you mix in.
The same goes for hawker fare. For instance, request for sauces and gravy to be served on the side so you can only add what you need.
5. Fill up on veggies
Many choose to ignore the importance of veggies. But following HPB’s “My Healthy Plate” concept, adopt the Quarter (wholegrains) Quarter (proteins) Half (fruits and vegetables) plate rule for a healthy and balanced meal.
Picture this: you can order a plate of cai fan with brown rice. Fill it with 2 portions of vegetables, and a tofu or fish dish. Another example would be opting for wholegrain burger buns with grilled meat and swopping your fries for a side salad or fruit.
Eating healthy in Singapore with the Eat, Drink, Shop Healthy Challenge
In a country filled with chicken rice and mee goreng, it doesn’t seem easy to make healthier choices for every meal. But if you make a conscious effort, it’s certainly possible – whether it’s forgoing that sugary drink or filling up on veggies.
With the Health Promotion Board’s “Eat, Drink, Shop Healthy” Challenge, simply dine in at participating F&B outlets that feature healthier dishes such as those found in Simply Wrapps, Yu Kee Duck Rice, Qi Ji, Sakae Sushi, and more.
You can have a hearty meal with Yu Kee Duck Rice’s Duck Porridge
These F&B stores offer a good mix of healthier choices:
- Simply Wrapps – Grilled Herb Crusted Salmon Keto-Lite bowl or Korean Grilled Strip Loin Beef Grain Bowl
- Yu Kee Duck Rice – Duck Porridge or Braised Duck Wholegrain Mee Kia
- Qi Ji – Prawn Popiah or Egg Noodles
- Sakae Sushi – Salmon Nigiri, California Temaki, Nama Hotate, Salmon Teriyaki, Chawanmushi, or Hamachi.
When you choose healthier options at participating F&B outlets, you receive QR codes that can be scanned for Healthpoints via the Healthy 365 App (iOS | Android). These Healthpoints can be used to redeem shopping and F&B e-vouchers. You can find the full list of HPB’s participating partners here.
Image adapted from: HealthHub
From FairPrice vouchers to F&B rewards, there’s every reason for you to start eating healthy in Singapore today.
This post was brought to you by HPB.
Photography by Maverick Chua, and edited by Kenneth Chan.
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