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28 breakfast foods in Singapore that are unhealthier than they look

28 breakfast foods in Singapore that are unhealthier than they look
PHOTO: Instagram/nomninjas and Instagram/yakunkayatoastsg

Singapore undeniably has a lot of good food. We’re even spoilt when it comes to breakfast spreads. But do you know how healthy/unhealthy your breakfast foods are?

Here’s a round up of 28 local breakfast dishes (yes with calorie count included) that will make you think twice before eating them! But don’t worry, we added tips for a healthier gratification.

1. Chicken rice

1 plate – 702 calories

Can’t decide on what to eat in the morning? It seems that many us tend to stick to our local classics to satisfy our hunger pangs in the A.M. Take, for instance, chicken rice.

It’s a simple dish that’s delicious and filling enough to settle our grumbling tummies. However, as innocent as this dish may sound, it actually contains a high fat content with a high calorie count of up to 702 calories.

2. Char kway teow

1 plate – 742 calories

One of the more homely, hearty meals around, this savoury dish is regrettably detrimental to your waistline. Topped with bits of pork lard and doused in vegetable oil, our favourite char kway teow dish is really a sinful delight. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t eat it, but it’s best that you do so in moderation.

3. Oyster omelette

1 serving – 650 calories

Also known as orh luak, the oyster omelette has been proven to be one of the few local favourites that we can’t live without. With a generous amount of oysters fried in egg batter, it’s no surprise that this delicacy is one that’s savoury and sinful. It contains about 650 calories for each serving with up to 49g of fat. There goes your workout.

4. Bak kut teh

1 bowl – 342 calories

Nothing beats a warm bowl of bak kut teh on a rainy Sunday morning. Though it can be delicious and comforting, it is actually high in saturated fat and contains 70 per cent of your entire day’s salt allowance.

5. Chicken curry

1 bowl – 450 calories

A no-fuss chicken curry is scrumptious, thick and is a must-have especially when you’re indulging in some roti prata, roti canai and rice. But did you know, this dish actually makes up almost a quarter of your ideal daily intake of calories?

6. Popiah

1 roll – 188 calories

Even though a roll of popiah contains 188 calories, most of us eat two rolls at a time which totals up to 376 calories. Ingredients like the sweet sauce, fried shallots, chilli sauce and Chinese sausages are the culprits of this calorie-heavy dish.

7. You tiao


1 pair – 192 calories

Commonly eaten with porridge or soya milk, this dough fritter that is deep fried in oil contains a high amount of sodium and exceeds the daily intake of carbs for an average adult.

8. Chee cheong fun

1 roll – 132 calories

Although this breakfast food is steamed, the sweet sauce and chilli sauce drizzled on top are the main sources of all the calories.

9. Fishball noodles (dry)

1 bowl – 370 calories

As compared to the soup version, dry fishball noodles contain much more calories due to the sauce-laden noodles.

10. Curry puff

1 piece – 246 calories

Just a piece of this deep-fried goodie contains 246 calories. Not only is it high in calories, it is also high in sodium at 1,341 mg. Just 159 mg short of an average adult’s daily sodium intake.

11. Kway chap

1 bowl – 650 calories

According to HealthXchange, this savoury dish completed with braised pork belly and intestines already exceeds the daily allowance for cholesterol and sodium for an average adult.

12. Wanton noodles (dry)

1 bowl – 411 calories

Similarly to fishball noodles, a bowl of dry wanton noodles is doused in gravy with a side of soup.

Healthier gratification: Ask for more vegetables and lesser gravy.

13. Putu mayam

One serving  – 196 calories

You’re consuming empty calories. The grated coconut and red sugar also give you a mid-morning crash after the initial spike in sugar.

Healthier gratification: Limit yourself to one teaspoon each of grated coconut and sugar for one serving of putu mayam. Saves you 96 calories. Plus, we teach you how to control your blood sugar when it comes to eating local breakfast.

14. Chwee kueh

One serving – 224 calories (four pieces of steamed rice cake with preserved radish and chilli).

This is really oily and high in sodium (900mg).

Healthier gratification: Go easy on the chilli – it’s the main culprit behind the high sodium and fat content.

15. Lor mai kai

One serving – 322 calories

It’s high in fat, and the amount of protein you get from the bits of chicken doesn’t add much to your recommended dietary intake.

Healthier gratification: Have just half a portion to satisfy your craving without piling on fat. Or, read how you can have a more nutritious breakfast that is healthier as well.

16. Char siew pau

One bun – 363 calories

For an item that would do little to satiate you first thing in the morning, it’s high in calories and carbs (45g). And, chances are, you won’t stop at one.

Healthier gratification: Red bean (205 calories), lotus seed (170 calories) and vegetable (150 calories) buns (speaking of buns, you don’t wanna miss these delicious ones) are better options.

17. Kaya and butter toast

One serving – 196 calories (two slices of white bread, two teaspoons of kaya and one teaspoon of butter).

This well-loved (mmhm, even leading lady Claudia Kim can’t resist our kaya spread), traditional breakfast food contains trans fat from the butter.

Healthier gratification: Lay off the butter, and you’ll shave off 44 calories.

18. Cantonese style porridge

One bowl  – 224 calories (served with meat, egg, century egg and spring onions)

This is high in cholesterol (370mg), exceeding the recommended daily cholesterol intake of 300mg.

Healthier gratification: Go for fish porridge (211 calories) instead – it’s lower in cholesterol.

19. Masala thosai

One serving – 362 calories

The potato filling coupled with the rice wrap makes this a double-carb combo (52.4g).

Healthier gratification: Get the plain thosai instead (100 calories). Otherwise, have just half of the masala thosai. No time? No problem, get these instant meals that are super yummy as well.

20. Fried bee hoon

One plate – 427 calories (served with a fried egg and a slice of fried luncheon meat.)

High carb (48.1g) and sodium (1,120mg) content aside, this is also low in dietary fibre (just 4g). You should be eating about 20g of fibre a day.

Healthier gratification: Avoid the luncheon meat and other fried items – these are high in fat and sodium. But, how does one resist luncheon meat?

21. Carrot cake

One plate – 493 calories (with dark sweet sauce) (Joseph Schooling’s favourite, remember?)

This contains 35g of fat and 1,290mg of sodium, close to the daily recommended limits.

Healthier gratification: Opt for the white version. Sweet sauce can pack 50 to 100 calories.

22. Roti prata

Two pieces – 497 calories (one egg and one plain)

Besides being high in carbs (60g), the margarine that’s usually used to fry prata often contains trans fats.

Healthier gratification: Stick to three tablespoons of curry for each piece of prata to cut down on your fat and cholesterol intake. If you’re in the mood to indulge, here’s a whole list of prata places you need to visit in Singapore.

23. Mee rebus

One bowl – 571 calories (served with one hard-boiled egg)

This is both high in salt (2,160mg) and cholesterol (206mg) – not something you want first thing in
the morning.

Healthier gratification: Leave half to a quarter of the noodles behind – you’ll be halving the calories too. But…we know how yummy Malay food can be so we’ve compiled a list of Halal buffets for you to try.

24. Mutton murtabak

One serving – 587 calories

It’s high in sodium (2150mg), cholesterol (206mg) and carbs (61.4g).

Healthier gratification: Get a chicken murtabak instead and save yourself about 98 calories.

25. Mee Siam

One plate – 694 calories

It packs a whopping 2,660mg of sodium.

Healthier gratification: Save about 174 calories by leaving a quarter of the noodles behind.

26. Nasi lemak

One plate – 635 calories

It contains 11.4g of saturated fat, thanks to the coconut milk.

Healthier gratification: Ask for a half portion of rice and you’ll save half of the fat content. Have you heard of The Coconut Club and its prestigious $12 nasi lemak?

27. Roti John

One serving – 721 calories

It’s carb-heavy (77g) and you’ll hit the daily recommended sodium intake with just this one dish.

Healthier gratification: If you must order this, share it with a friend!

28. Lontong

One bowl – 798 calories

This contains a total of 40g of fat and 21.6g of saturated fat. You’ve also just about reached the daily recommended sodium intake of 2,000mg.

Healthier gratification: Resist the gravy and you’ll ditch more than half the fat and calories. Thinking of lunch already? Then find out where you can get these 51 quintessentially local fare.

This article was first published in Her World Online.

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