The way to enjoy a better life is through better health, and key to that is eating healthy. Read on to find out how…
Food is a big part of the social culture of Singapore. However, did you know that almost 60 per cent of Singaporeans consume more food than they should every day, especially since many of them eat out as much as four times a week? With so many high fat, high calorie food out there, more often than not, we end up eating food that is far from being healthy or nutritious.
This June, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) launched a healthier food strategy encouraging Singaporeans to adopt healthier eating habits. Through its Healthier Dining Programme (to find out more please see www.eathealthy.sg), HPB has partnered with 18 eateries to improve diners’ access to healthier food options for dining out. This means you can enjoy the same food you love while making calorie-conscious choices. These eateries give you the option to choose healthier dining choices, either by adding fruits and vegetables into their dishes, using healthier oil or swapping white rice for brown rice and reducing saturated fat and sugar for the same value! (View our gallery “10 meals under 500 Calories” that includes mouthwatering dishes like laksa, steak, prawns and other hearty meals!) These dishes break the myth that healthy eating is tasteless.
Besides presenting healthier dining options to consumers, HPB is also sharing the following tips to help you succeed at eating for better health and a better life:
Be aware of what goes into the dishes you eat
A general understanding that a balanced meal includes protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals is not enough. You need to examine everything you consume. You need a good mix of vegetables, whole grains and fruit or there will be too little fibre in your diet, which is necessary for a fully functional digestive system. A good amount of protein is great for building muscles, but excessive red meat protein like pork and beef can result in too much saturated fat in your diet, putting you at risk for heart disease.
Not all carbohydrates are created equal
Rice is one of the key elements of the Asian diet. However, largely refined carbohydrates that we are used to such as white rice, bread, crackers and other processed carbohydrates can cause the blood sugar or glucose in your system to increase very quickly. This results in your body having to work extra hard to keep your blood sugar under control. This has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Work to reduce your intake of starchy, highly refined, white carbohydrates and instead opt for carbohydrate sources such as beans, whole-grain wheat bread or brown rice, all of which can help maintain glucose at appropriate levels in your system.
Eat by the magic number: 500 calories
Although it can vary for different body types and activity levels, knowing the daily recommended energy allowance remains a good guideline for watching what you eat. This number is at 2,600 calories (men) and 2,000 calories (women). A typical meal eaten out is easily 700 to 800 calories. In addition to three meals a day, some of you may have one to two snacks throughout the day. Looking out for eateries around the island that promote 500 calories meals can help you to keep within your recommended energy allowance.
Skip sweetened beverage and save on calories
Did you know a typical can of sweet beverage adds 150 calories to your calorie intake, and these empty calories have little to no nutritional value? Sweetened beverages may make you feel hungry more quickly and you could end up consuming more food due to the cravings. Skip the carbonated drinks, processed juices and eliminate sugar in your coffee or tea. This will help you avoid unwanted calories and unsavoury cravings for food when you are not actually hungry.
Win prizes just for eating healthy!*
Need more reason to adopt healthier food options? Apart from initiating positive changes in the menus of your favourite dining outlets, HPB further sweetens the deal with over $300,000 worth of prizes to be won!
Here’s what you have to do:
- Get your loyalty card from Healthy Go Lucky Draw participating outlets
- Get a stamp on the loyalty card for each healthy choice dish purchased at a participating outlet
- Complete the card (five dishes) and drop it off at any of the participating outlets to take part in the lucky draw
Get a chance to win prizes like $8,888 worth of travel vouchers, a luxury cruise for two worth $5,000, 3D/2N Spa Staycation for two valued at $2,000. There are also plenty of shopping mall, dining and supermarket vouchers to win by simply eating well. For more information on the Healthy go lucky draw, please see www.healthygolucky.sg.
What are you waiting for? Start eating well and plan on healthier meals starting this June!
Participating outlets include:
- Soup Restaurant
- Dian Xiao Er
- Smoothie King
- Loving Hut
- NTUC Foodfare
- Formosa Delight
- Fish & Co
*Terms and conditions apply