Although it is easy to fall into the trap of making unhealthy meal choices when eating at a food court, being aware of the nutritious options available can help you make better choices.
Delicious and filling, rice works well with a number of flavours and is often an economical choice. While it is often praised for its health benefits, it only remains nutritious when the right cooking methods are employed. When choosing your rice dishes at Singapore’s food courts, look out for the following words:
Steamed: Steaming is arguably the healthiest way to cook any food. When rice has been steamed, you know extra fats are not present.
Stir-fried: Stir fried dishes are flash fried, which means minimal fats are used. Further to this, those oils used are usually healthy, such as olive or sesame.
In contrast, you need to avoid anything that is fried or deep-fried. Such dishes are usually laden with unnecessary trans fats, rendering the dish unhealthy. To be extra health conscious, avoid excessive amounts of animal fats. Trans fats are often hidden in beef, or poultry with the skin remaining.
Aim for fish and tofu wherever possible, combined with plenty of vegetables. Finally, try asking for a smaller serving, or refrain from eating everything in front of you. Rice is so filling, you rarely need to consume the entire dish.
Unlike rice, noodles are not always filling, but can be just as healthy when you take the right approach. Once again there is a need to avoid deep fried and fried dishes, by instead opting for steamed and stir fried options. You should also steer clear of:
Noodles that feature too much soy, unless it is light. Soy is full of salt, which should be consumed in moderation.
Minced meat and coconut milk, both of which contain excessive calories.
Try tantalising your taste buds with flavours that are light, yet exciting. Few options can beat chilies, which have the potential to bring any dish to life. Oyster sauce is a healthy alternative to soy sauce, as it usually contains less salt. For a really healthy option, reduce the noodle volume by asking for soups instead. This allows you to satisfy your hunger with a few noodles, without feeling tempted to over eat.
Eating Meals From Around the World
Depending on where the continental dishes you enjoy are from, they may feature hidden fats and sugars in seemingly innocent condiments. Many dressings used on western salads are high in calories, such as thousand island dressing and blue cheese dressing.
Some classic dishes are deep fried, such as chicken, fries, and calamari rings. With regards to chicken, aim for skinless breasts wherever possible. Chicken is usually healthy, with the majority of low density fats being found beneath the skin, which can contribute to ‘bad’ cholesterol levels.
Finally, don’t forget to pay close attention to the drinks you consume. Remember that diet sodas, while free from sugars, are bad for your teeth. This is due to their high acid content, which can erode dental enamel.
It goes without saying that sugary sodas are a no-no, but you should also be aware that many fruit juices are equally high in sugars. To make staying healthy easier, opt for fruit tea or water.
_and_a_healthy_diet; Image courtesy of papaija2008/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net