Singapore is known for its diverse and delicious food scene, but it can be challenging to find healthy options when dining out. With so many tempting dishes to choose from, it’s easy to overindulge and neglect proper nutrition. However, with a little knowledge and planning, it’s possible to enjoy Singapore’s unique cuisines while making nutrient-rich choices.
The Importance of a Balanced Diet
Before diving into the specifics of healthy dining in Singapore, it’s essential to understand the importance of a balanced diet. According to HealthHub, optimal health requires a wide variety of foods from all food groups. It’s recommended to try different whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, as well as meat and other protein-rich foods. To make your meals more nutritious, try adding fruits and vegetables to your dishes. For example, instead of all-meat dishes, mix in vegetables for a more filling meal with extra vitamins and minerals. Experiment with fruit to add flavor and color to your dish, such as adding pineapple to sweet and sour fish or mango to jazz up chicken.
Healthy Dining Options in Singapore
Fortunately, Singapore has a growing number of healthy dining options. TimeOut lists the 22 best healthy restaurants in Singapore for clean eats. One of the newly-opened restaurants is Bamboo Bowls in Far East Square. It’s a one-stop café, health shop, and restaurant that offers eight bowls representing the flavors of Singapore, Sichuan, Saigon, Bangkok, Bali, Tokyo, Mumbai, and Seoul. The plant-based, organic Bombay Bowl is a favorite, inspired by Indian street snacks like chana dal and pumpkin vada. Another option is to explore the healthy menu items at Singapore’s hawker centers. Evolve MMA lists some of the secret healthy menu items, such as Thunder Tea Rice (Lei Cha Fan), Fish Soup, and Yong Tau Foo. These dishes are rich in nutrients and flavor, making them a great choice for a healthy meal.
Tips for Making Nutrient-Rich Choices
When dining out, it’s essential to be mindful of your choices. Channel NewsAsia reports that while there seems to be growing health consciousness among Singaporeans, many regularly eat food from hawker centers and coffee shops, which are not always the healthiest options. However, eating well and right does not require one to break the bank or devote a lot of effort to it. Here are some tips for making nutrient-rich choices when dining out:
- Choose healthier oils: Oils that are lower in saturated fat (canola, soy, and olive oils) are better for your health. Try to limit your intake of saturated and trans fats. Keep a lookout for Healthier Dining Partners who use healthier oils in their cooking when you dine out.
- Be mindful of portion sizes: Eating meals in the Quarter, Quarter, Half proportions is a great start to better health. However, it’s also important to be mindful of your overall calorie intake.
- Choose whole grains: Whole grains are a good source of fiber and other nutrients. Look for dishes that contain brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat.
- Opt for lean protein: Choose lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, and tofu. Avoid dishes that are deep-fried or heavily sauced.
- Limit added sugars: Sugary drinks and desserts can add a lot of calories to your meal. Opt for water or unsweetened tea, and choose fresh fruit for dessert.
Overlooked Nutrient-Rich Foods
In addition to making healthy choices when dining out, it’s also important to incorporate nutrient-rich foods into your diet. Vogue lists ten healthy but overlooked foods that we should all be eating more of. Here are a few examples:
- Mushrooms: Low in calories and chock-full of fiber and nutrients, mushrooms have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Lupin beans: This legume can help to reduce blood sugar spikes, keep bad cholesterol at bay, regulate blood pressure, and strengthen bones.
- Red onion: This pungent-tasting vegetable is low in calories, has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties, and is an extraordinary source of vitamins and minerals.
By incorporating these overlooked nutrient-rich foods into your diet, you can boost your overall health and well-being. Healthy dining in Singapore is possible with a little knowledge and planning. By choosing healthier options when dining out, being mindful of portion sizes, and incorporating nutrient-rich foods into your diet, you can enjoy Singapore’s unique cuisines while maintaining optimal health.