Health Blog

CAN Station @ ITE

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To promote a healthy eating lifestyle, delivering healthy messaging is one of the main strategies.

Food Canopy’s CAN Station at Cafeteria B, Level 3 help increase health awareness and to encourage students and employees of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) West to practice healthier eating habits and lifestyle.

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Drop by at ITE Cafeteria B now to find out if you are having a healthy balanced diet and explore more on the crossword puzzle, as well as nutritional facts of healthier foods that are offered in the canteen! Feel free to write on the board on “What food do you think are healthy?” to share your healthy tips with everyone 

Calories: Are all calories equal?

Calories - cucumber

Each gram of carbohydrate and protein contribute 4kcal, while each gram of fat provides 9kcal. Therefore, calories are not equal in all food group. Even though carbohydrate contributes lower calories than fat, due to the diet pattern in Singapore which consumes mostly refined carbs, for example, bee hoon, noodle and white rice, which are associated with increased risk of diabetes. Besides that, the latest researches have demonstrated that moderate intake of fat in our diet can bring benefits to health.

Juices

By eating more food that consists high amount of various minerals and vitamins but with lower calorie count can help achieve in a well-balanced diet with the lower calorie count. For example nuts, whole grain choices, vegetables, fruits, fish and lean meat. In general, people think that fruit juices are beneficial to health, however, it can contribute high-calorie count because of high sugar level. Cereal and energy bars appear to be as healthy foods, but it might have a high content of fat and sugar. A single serving of regular oat bars consists up to 200kcal. Moderation intake of nuts is important, as nuts contribute high calories count, for example, 100g of walnut contribute about 350kcal.

 

Reference: Healthhub.sg. (2019). Health is Not Just About Counting Your Calories [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/1133/health-not-just-about-counting-your-calories

Healthy Snack – Vegetable sticks with tomato salsa dip

For many people, weight gain has been attributed to poor snacking habits. Processed food snacks such as potato chips and cookies often lead to excess salt, sugar, fat and calorie intake. Make the switch to a healthier snack with this simple recipe – Vegetable sticks with a tomato salsa dip for a healthy nutrition boost today!

Ingredients:

Vegetable Sticks:

• 200g carrots, peeled, cleaned and cut into 8cm sticks

• 200g cucumber, cored, cleaned and cut into 8cm sticks

Tomato Salsa Dip:

• 3 large ripe tomatoes

• 3 tablespoon of chopped onion

• 2 small clove of chopped garlic

• 2 chilli (chopped)

• ½ cup of cilantro

• 2 tablespoon of lime juice

• 1 tablespoon of olive oil

• Pinch of salt

• Pinch of pepper

Tomato Salsa Dip Preparation

1. Cut tomatoes into halves and remove the stem.

2. Mix diced tomato, chopped onion, garlic, chilli, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper for taste.

3. Refrigerate tomato salsa for at least 30 minutes (for better flavour) before serving.

Food image with courtesy from Yoffielife.com

Carbohydrate and Starchy Foods

One of our major source for carbohydrate is starchy foods and starchy foods play a significant part in a well-balanced diet.

Wholegrain bread
Starchy Foods

The major source of energy (calories) comes from starchy foods and starchy foods also contribute to a wide variety of nutrients (examples: vitamins B, fibre, calcium and iron.) towards your healthy diet.

In general, people have the conception that starchy foods will cause fattening, but starchy foods actually consist of lesser than half calories of what fats consist of. While cooking starchy foods, control the fats added into the dishes as this will cause high calories contribution in your diet.

To eat extra starchy foods in healthier ways, you will have to:

·         Choose brown rice over white rice, which increase the fibre intake in your diet

·         Go for wholegrain oats or cereals with low-fat milk and some of your preferred fruits

·         Opt for a baked potato with the skin on with some baked vegetables along

·         Always choose baked potato wedges over fries or deep-fried potatoes dish

·         Have a different type of bread for breakfast, such as granary, wholemeal, multigrain, seeded and oat. This will increase the variety of nutrients intake of your diet

 

Reference: nhs.uk. (2019). Starchy foods and carbohydrates. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/starchy-foods-and-carbohydrates/

Nuts: Good or Bad for health?

Nuts

Nuts are great sources of minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium. Also, nuts are rich in vitamins like folate and vitamin E. Nuts should be included in a well-balanced diet. Besides that, nuts consist of mostly unsaturated fats which enhance heart health through lower the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood. Additionally, minerals, vitamins and fibre components in nuts will function together to enhance heart health.

Moderation intake of nuts

Although nuts have many benefits to health, they contribute high-calorie count. Thus, moderation intake of nuts with reducing high saturated fats foods (e.g. deep-fried food and cakes) intake will only bring benefits to your health. On the other hand, there are a lot of nuts choices in the market which are deep-fried with added sugar, seasoning or salt. Therefore, choose nuts with Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS), which no extra seasoning is added and contain a lesser amount of fat and salt.

 

Nuts1

Recommended serving size of nuts

Health Promotion Board recommends a cup with approximately 40g of nuts several times per week. By mixing different type of nuts will maximize the benefits to your health as different nuts consist of different minerals and vitamins.

International Eat An Apple Day – 21st September 2019

Eat An Apple Day

International Eat an Apple Day falls onto every third Saturday of September on the calendar where everyone is encouraged to enjoy a fresh and nutritious apple. An apple will never be enough, eat as many apples as you like on this day! Apples were first grown in Asia, until today there are a lot of varieties of apples around the world such as Gala, Pink Lady, Fuji and Granny Smith. Which varieties of apple are in your favourite list?

 

Nevertheless which are your favourite kind of apples, apple still brings a lot of advantages to your health. Below are some health benefits of an apple:

·         Prevention of obesity: As apple consists of a great amount of water and fibre, which assists in reducing weight and prevent obesity.

·         Lowering risk of diabetes & stroke: Antioxidants in Apples are associated with lowering the risk of diabetes and stroke.

·         Prevention of dementia: High amount of Vitamin C in apple helps decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

·         Reducing bad cholesterol level: High amount of fibre in apple are linked to reducing bad cholesterol level and improving good cholesterol level.

 

With all the benefits to your health by eating an apple, you should not only have an apple on this International Eat an Apple Day but to have an apple every day – which might keep you away from the doctor!

 

Reference: National Day Calendar. (2019). INTERNATIONAL EAT AN APPLE DAY – Third Saturday in September – National Day Calendar. [online] Available at: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/international-eat-an-apple-day-third-saturday-in-september/
Medical News Today. (2019). Apples: Health benefits, facts, research. [online] Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267290.php

Superfood Snack – Acai Bowl Recipe

Enjoy this nutritious and antioxidant bowl simply at home with this recipe!

Acai BowlServe 2

 

Ingredients

Acai smoothie base:

  • 100g frozen acai berry
  • 1/2 cup  Apple juice
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup  frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup  frozen blueberries

 

Toppings:

(Below are suggested toppings for one Acai bowl. Feel free to add any of  your favourite toppings and add to your desired quantity.)

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 Cup Homemade granola
  • Fresh fruit sliced thinly: such as fresh strawberries, raspberries and banana
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon yukiko
Instructions
  1. Add the frozen acai berry, apple juice, banana, strawberries, and blueberries to a high powered blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl.
  2. Decorate the bowl with all your favourite toppings and enjoy immediately!

Weight management through healthy eating habits

1 in 3 Singaporean adults is facing an obese or overweight problem. Overweight or obesity will higher your chances of developing cancers, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes. By picking up healthy eating habits will result in a positive impact on your weight management.

Healthy eating habits to eat right and lite

i. Healthier beverage choices

Always put plain water as your first choice to keep your body hydrated. Most of the beverages, alcohol and even fruit juices contribute high-calorie count in your diet.

ii. Eat more fibre

Fibre does not digest in your body, it will swell and take in water which makes you feel fuller for longer. Choose fibre-rich food such as beans, vegetables, lentils and whole-grains which will contribute low-calorie count in your diet.

iii. Eat regularly between meals

Prevent delaying or skipping your main meal, sufficient-spaced between meals would provide energy for you throughout the day and avoid hunger pangs.

iv. Eat smaller portion

Reduce the regular portion of your snack and meal will immediately lower your calories intake.

v. Decrease fat intake in your diet

Fat contributes a high amount of calorie, reduce fat intake in your diet is an effective way to lower your calorie intake. Avoid choosing deep-fried and oily food which are high in calorie.

vi. Decrease sugar intake in your diet

Sugar have low nutrients value but do contribute to your calorie count intake. Restrict cakes, ice-cream and desserts that consist high amount of added sugars.

By doing all these simple yet healthy eating habits every day, your extra weight reduces slowly but surely.

Reference:
Healthhub.sg. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/457/Eating%20to%20Lose%20Weight [Accessed 6 Sep. 2019].

How does protein intake affect weight management?

Foods with high protein can actually cause your body to feel fuller than carbohydrate-rich or fat-rich foods. By adding protein intake from lean foods in your diet will minimize the sensation of hunger and therefore lower your overall calorie intake.

In order to lose your weight by lower down your calorie intake, it is a must to lower the intake of certain foods. However, to keep protein-rich foods with low-fat intake will be a great idea. As a result, a large contribution of calorie will be from protein in this low energy intake diet. Based on the results demonstrated by several studies, a diet with high protein and low carbohydrate were linked with the slightly better initial loss of weight than popular low-fat diet plans.

Choosing protein-rich foods with lower fat like low-fat dairy products or lean meats are very important because certain protein-rich foods contain high amount of saturated fat. With this simple step, it will help decrease the possibility of developing the heart-related disease.

Reference: British Nutrition Foundation. (2019). Protein. [online] Available at: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/protein.html?start=5 [Accessed 30 Aug. 2019].

Chicken Spinach Salad with Pomegranate

Nutritious lunch ideas with only 20 minutes preparation times!

Serves 2
INGREDIENTS

For chicken:

· 2 Chicken breasts

· A pinch of salt

· A pinch of pepper

· 2 tsp olive oil

For salad:

· A pinch of salt

· A pinch of pepper

· 1 Tbsp olive oil

· 1 Tbsp lemon juice

· 4 cups spinach

· ½ cup pomegranate

Preparation

For chicken:

1. Pre-heat pan with medium heat.

2. Add olive oil.

3. Coat chicken breast with salt and pepper

4. Cook chicken breast for 10-15minutes, until the chicken no longer pink.

5. Cut into strips after cool for 5 minutes.

For salad:

1. Mix spinach, chicken and pomegranate into a salad bowl.

2. Add olive oil and lemon juice.

3. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Ready to serve!