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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
CANTONESE STYLE PORRIDGE
One bowl - 224 calories (served with meat, egg, century egg and spring onions)
Th is 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.
One serving - 362 calories
The potato fi lling 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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 story was originally published in Her World Fit & Fab Issue #3 in 2014.