SINGAPORE - Mr For Wei Chek, a nutrition and dietetics services manager at Mount Alvernia Hospital, offers some tips on picking healthier options while grocery shopping:
Look out for the Health Promotion Board's Healthier Choice symbol, which indicates that the product has lower fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar, and contains higher dietary fibre, calcium and whole grains, when compared to other products in the same category.
Wholemeal bread is particularly good for glucose-intolerant mums-to-be as it is high in fibre, which slows down glucose absorption. Those who dislike wholemeal bread can choose high-fibre white bread instead, which means that it contains more than 6g of dietary fibre per 100g.
Pick low-fat or non-fat yoghurt for a snack, instead of a yoghurt drink as the latter contains higher amounts of sugar and lower calcium.
"No sugar added" claims on fruit juices do not mean that the products are free of sugar - they can still contain fructose, which is the sugar from the fruit they were made from. The best juice is made at home from fresh fruit, using a blender instead of a juicer, so that the pulp is retained.
Choose brown rice as it contains more fibre and nutrients like vitamin B. Mix brown rice into white rice in increasing ratios, if you are not used to the taste and texture of brown rice.
Biscuits that are high in fibre could also be high in fat, so choose one that is high-fibre, low-fat and low-salt.
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