SHAPE’S UL­TI­MATE HAWKER FOOD QUIZ: WHICH IS HEALTH­IER?

Shape (Singapore) - - Shape Your Life Celebrity -

Aimee may have been born in Eng­land, but the Bri­tish-Chi­nese con­sid­ers her­self a Sin­ga­porean at heart. She’s a fan of lo­cal food, list­ing Hokkien mee, prawn noo­dle soup and laksa as some of her favourites. While she sure knows her quinoa from her cous­cous, how does Aimee fare when it comes to pick­ing health­ier hawker fare? We put her to the test with this ul­tra tricky quiz, with in­put from Ja­clyn Reutens, a clin­i­cal di­eti­tian and founder of Ap­tima Nu­tri­tion & Sports Con­sul­tants. Here’s the re­port card. 1. ROASTED CHICKEN RICE OR ROASTED DUCK RICE?

Aimee’s an­swer: Chicken rice Cor­rect an­swer: Duck rice The di­eti­tian says: Duck rice is much health­ier than chicken rice, which is of­ten cooked with a sub­stan­tial amount of oil. You can re­duce your fat in­take by re­mov­ing the skin. Duck is a also good source of iron – it has al­most thrice the amount of iron in chicken. Calo­rie-saving tip: Ask for less sauce or skip the sauce al­to­gether.

2. NASI BIRYANI (WITH CHICKEN THIGH) OR NASI LEMAK (WITH FRIED CHICKEN WING, IKAN BILIS AND FRIED EGG)?

Aimee’s an­swer: Nasi biryani Cor­rect an­swer: Nasi biryani The di­eti­tian says: This is a tough fight be­tween sim­i­lar dishes. Both con­tain rice cooked in fat (co­conut milk for lemak and ghee for biryani) and are served with pro­tein foods and mi­nus­cule amounts of veg­eta­bles. How­ever, you’re bet­ter off opt­ing for nasi biryani as the rice is lower in calo­ries and sat­u­rated fat. The grains used in this dish (bas­mati or long-grain) are also bet­ter for con­trol­ling blood sugar lev­els. When it comes to chicken, the wings are higher in fat than thighs. Calo­rie-saving tip: Re­move the skin on the thigh and eat only half the amount of rice served.

3. CURRY CHICKEN NOODLES OR LAKSA?

Aimee’s an­swer: Curry chicken noodles Cor­rect an­swer: Laksa The di­eti­tian says: Laksa is ac­tu­ally more nu­tri­tious than chicken curry noodles. Be­sides be­ing sig­nif­i­cantly lower in fat, it con­tains more vi­ta­min A, cal­cium and iron. Calo­rie-saving tip: Drain the tau pok of ex­cess gravy be­fore eat­ing it.

4. OYS­TER OMELETTE OR FRIED CAR­ROT CAKE?

Aimee’s an­swer: Car­rot cake Cor­rect an­swer: Oys­ter omelette The di­eti­tian says: Calo­rie for calo­rie, the oys­ter omelette of­fers more ben­e­fits as the shell­fish is rich in nu­tri­ents such as vi­ta­min A and iron. Car­rot cake is es­sen­tially fried starch with some pro­tein from eggs. Calo­rie-saving tip: Share the oys­ter omelette with friends!

5. FISHBALL NOODLES OR BAK CHOR MEE?

Aimee’s an­swer: Fishball noodles Cor­rect an­swer: Bak chor mee The di­eti­tian says: Although a serv­ing of fishball noodles con­tains fewer calo­ries than the noodles with mush­room and minced pork, pick the lat­ter for its higher nu­tri­tional value. Mush­rooms are rich in se­le­nium and B vi­ta­mins. Fish­balls are high in sodium and of­ten con­tain fillers, flour, flavoured ad­di­tives and very lit­tle fish meat. Calo­rie-saving tip: Ask for less oil and more vine­gar so the flavour won’t be com­pro­mised.

6. MEE RE­BUS OR MEE GORENG?

Aimee’s an­swer: Mee goreng Cor­rect an­swer: Mee goreng The di­eti­tian says: With veg­eta­bles and meat mixed in, mee goreng is a more com­plete meal. It of­fers more than four times the vi­ta­min A in mee re­bus. For meat, choose seafood over chicken or mut­ton as poorer-qual­ity cuts are typ­i­cally used. Mut­ton is also es­pe­cially high in choles­terol and fat. Calo­rie-saving tip: Trade yel­low noodles for bee hoon.

7. CHAR KWAY TEOW OR HOKKIEN MEE?

Aimee’s an­swer: Hokkien mee Cor­rect an­swer: Hokkien mee The di­eti­tian says: Hokkien mee is a bet­ter choice as you get qual­ity pro­tein from eggs, prawns and squid. Although cock­les are rich in iron, char kway teow is sub­stan­tially higher in fat, with more than four times the sat­u­rated fat found in Hokkien mee. Calo­rie-saving tip: Skip the lard and driz­zle with more lime juice in­stead.

8. CHENDOL OR BUBOH CHA CHA?

Aimee’s an­swer: Buboh cha cha Cor­rect an­swer: Chendol The di­eti­tian says: Chendol con­tains red beans, which not only of­fer ex­tra di­etary fi­bre but some vi­ta­min B too. While both desserts are co­conut milk-based, buboh cha cha is a heav­ier op­tion with ex­tra car­bo­hy­drates in the form of yam, sweet potato and tapi­oca flour. Calo­rie-saving tip: Share half with some­one. Avoid mix­ing the palm syrup into the co­conut milk so you take in less sugar.

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