Healthy bites

Healthy eating is about cultivating good eating habits and making better food choices. Here are some tips to help you eat right.

Make healthier food choices

Wean off the bad stuff gradually. If you're attempting to give up a certain food, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating it as often.

Eat smaller portions. Resist the urge to upsize everything you buy or order just because it's value-for-money." You'll end up eating more than you intended to.

Choose healthy carbohydrates. Opt for wholegrain products whenever possible. These are digested slowly, helping you feel full longer and keeping blood sugar levels more stable.

Include fruits and vegetables in your diet. The Health Promotion Board recommends two servings of vegetables each day. Fruit and vegetables of different colours (red, green, yellow/orange, white or purple) contain different combinations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so eat a variety.

Substitute "bad" fats with "good" fats. Limit the intake of saturated and trans fats. Switch to healthier monounsaturated fats such as canola oil or olive oil and polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel.

Go for leaner cuts of meat. You don't have to give up meat completely, but try to eat more white meat such as fish and poultry. Trim off any visible fat from the meat and remove the skin from poultry.

Cut own on sugar. Soft drinks and processed fruit juices can have a high sugar content, so reduce your intake or dilute them with water. For dessert, serve frozen yoghurt or sorbet instead of ice cream.

Cook healthier meals

Prepare your meals without excessive fat or salt, or switch to healthier cooking methods.

Steaming: This is one of the healthiest cooking techniques. All you need to do is add a small amount of water to a big pot or wok, bring it to a boil and place your food over the steam.

Stir-frying: Food cooked this way requires only a little oil. As the ingredients for stir-frying are cooked for a relatively short period of time, they also retain their nutrients.

Use less salt and other seasonings: Reduce the amount of salt, soya sauce or oyster sauce called for in a recipe.

Switch to healthier cooking oil: While some dishes or cooking methods cannot do without oil, you could use oils that are low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat such as canola. If you have to deep-fry food, drain the excess oil and use paper towels to absorb the grease.

Increase the quantity of greens: There is no harm in adding more vegetables than what is stated in the recipe to help you meet your daily recommended intake of vegetables.

This article is writen by Goh Mei Yi

This article was first published on November 9, 2014.
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