Saturday, December 4, 2010


Whenever I am in Singapore I love eating at the food courts in the malls. The selection is almost limitless, even for a vegetarian-to-be like myself. Among my favourites are laksa, yong taufoo, rojak (both Chinese and Indian varieties), carrot cake, fried oyster omelette, thosai and economy rice. For snacks and desserts, I confess to a weakness for yu-tiao (deep fried breadsticks), tau suan (green bean in starchy syrup), and ice kacang. (above: a bowl of tau suan with yu-tiao pieces

Unfortunately for me and my fellow hawker food lovers, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) of Singapore has warned that consuming hawker fare is potentially hazardous to our health because of the high salt, fat and/or sugar content.

A yong tau foo outlet in Taipei. Too much salt?
In Taipei, it's called China Pizza. In Singapore and Malaysia it's better known as roti canai or prata. Too much oil and saturated fat?
I had lunch at this economy rice outlet in Taipei. HPB's advice: select more vegetable dishes.

It takes a certain amount of will power to resist the lure of these 'danger' foods. The good news is an increasing number of food outlets and even public hospitals are now offering healthier food items on the menu. Brown rice, low-fat milk, purple wheat noodles and whole grain bread are fast becoming the preferred choice for better nutritional value.

At food outlets, it is now common to hear customers asking for less sugar in their drinks, or less salt in their food. They are opting for more vegetables and smaller amounts of rice or noodles.

The HPB introduced the Healthier Dining programme in 2003. Under the programme, more than 2000 hawker stalls have committed to offering healthier dishes. In addition, more than 150 restaurants, with over 200 outlets are participating in the HPB’s Healthier Restaurant Programme. These food establishments have earned the right to display the Healthier Choice Symbol (see logo). For more information on making healthy choices when eating out, check out the HPB website here.

Time to make wise choices in our food intake.

1 comment:

foodbin said...

As for me- I eat in moderation and go for a balanced diet (a little bit of everything)