Carbohydrate

What is Visceral Fat?

What is V.fat?

Visceral fat (or V.fats) are fats that are stored in your vital organs in your body. They are dangerous because you cannot feel them or see them…unlike the glistening oil on your curry or the beautiful deep fried chicken wings.

It doesn’t just affect overweight or obese people. Skinny people or people with a flat tummy can still have a thick layer of V.fats in their body.  This syndrome is known as TOFI, or “thin outside fat inside.”

High amounts of V.fats can also cause heart diseases, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

Food that causes accumulation of V.fats

  • high intake of fatty meats, full fat dairy, animal innards as well as deep-fried or processed foods.
  • soft drinks, candy, processed baked goods, and other high sugar food.
  • ingredients like “partially hydrogenated oils” or “high-fructose corn syrup. (time to start reading your food labels!)

How to detect V fats?

  • Waist line- good gauge will be below 31.5 inches for women or 35.5 inches for men
  • Body shape- People with apple shape (a big trunk and slimmer legs) have more upper body fat compared to pear-shaped people (bigger hips and thighs). This might be one reason why women usually live longer than men!
  • Some weighing scales has the function to measure body fats and visceral fats.

How to reduce V.fats?

The same rules apply.. always eat in moderation and keep fit by exercising daily!

Maximise your air-fryer, minimise your calories!

Air-fried Har Cheong Gai

Preparation time: 10 minutes          Marination time: 2 hrs or overnight

Air-frying time; 10 minutes     Servings: 2

Deep fried version- Calories: 750 kcal per serving   Fats: 60g per serving

Air fried version- Calories: 450 kcal per serving   Fats 31g per serving

Ingredients:

8 medium sized chicken wings, 2 tbsp cornflour

Marinade:

1 tbsp Shrimp paste, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp finely grated ginger , ½ tbsp cooking wine and ½ tsp sugar

Method:

  1. Trim chicken wings and marinate them using the marinade mixture for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.
  2. Pre-heat air-fryer at 180oC. Lightly dust the wings with cornflour and arrange them on the air-fryer basket and proceed to cook for about 8-10 minutes till crispy!

Air-fried sweet potato fries

Preparation time: 10 minutes          Air-frying time; 10 minutes           Servings: 2

Deep fried version- Calories: 400 kcal per serving   Fats: 32g per serving

Air-fried version- Calories: 221 kcal per serving       Fats: 5g per serving

Ingredients:

2 medium peeled sweet potatoes, 2 tsp cooking oil, 1/2 tsp salt, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp sweet paprika and a dash of black pepper

Method:

  1. Pre-heat air-fryer at 200oC. Lightly brush the air-fryer basket with cooking oil.
  2. Slice the sweet potatoes into even ¼ inch thick fries.
  3. Coat the sliced sweet potato fries with remaining oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper.
  4. Proceed to air-fry the fries for about 10 minutes. You may need to cook them in 2-3 batches so that you do not overcrowd the basket.

Recipe sources:

http://www.ellenaguan.com/2016/04/recipes-using-philips-airfryer.html

https://www.skinnytaste.com/crispy-air-fryer-sweet-potato-fries/

The 6th sense… in your tastebud!

More and more people are familiar with the word, umami which is a word to describe brothy and savoury food such as miso soup or barbeque meat. While umami is the 5th taste sense, there is a newly minted taste concept known as kokumi!

This “sixth sense” expands and enhances the other five previous tastes senses (sweet, sour, salty, spicy and of course, umami). Kokumi is widely associated with textures that are hearty, thick and “coats the mouth” such as dairy products (milk, butter, cheese), fats, salad dressings, as well as fermented foods such as fish sauce, soya sauce, wine and shrimp paste.

Interestingly, this “latest” food sensation was actually discovered by Japanese researchers way back in 1989. Research shows that kokumi-rich food generally taste more robust and it makes reduced-sugar food products taste sweeter! (wow!)

This important identification of the “sixth sense” created much excitement in the food industry as companies want to find how to create healthy dishes without giving up that satisfying taste.

Sources:

  1. https://www.fooddive.com/news/kokumi-the-sensation-that-makes-tasting-better/553761/
  2. https://sciencemeetsfood.org/umami-kokumi-flavor-profile/

Title: Sleep Better with these Nutrition Hacks

5,000+ Best Sleep Photos · 100% Free Download · Pexels Stock Photos
Gaining quality sleep

Quality sleep is important for better productivity, concentration, skin health and overall wellbeing. Establishing a healthy sleep routine is essential. The following are a few nutrition-related tips to consider that may help your routine.

1. Adjust the time that you eat before bed

Eating before sleeping might disrupt your sleep may not be a good idea. This is especially if it is high in calories or spicy. You might find yourself to bloated to fall asleep. In contrast going to bed hungry as well might not be very wise. If you do feel hungry, opt for light snacks like milk, fruits or a low-fat yoghurt.

2. You might want to do a caffeine and alcohol check

Alcohol may make you feel drowsy and sleepy at the start, but if might dehydrate you, leaving the next day feeling tired. Caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, energy drinks and even bubble tea may interfere with the sleep process. You might find it tough to sleep if you have them in the evening. If you really need a cuppa or tea, try decaffeinated options like herbal tea to calm yourself and promote restful sleep.

3. Include selenium in your diet

Selenium is essential to metabolism and thyroid hormone production.  Evidence-based studies have pointed that selenium intake is associated with difficulty in falling asleep. Including more selenium-rich foods may be a great way to keep sleep interruptions at bay. Selenium can be found in food sources like meats, seafood, dairy products, grains and nuts. Next time, have a glass of warm milk to hit that selenium aid.

Gluten-Free DOES NOT Equate to Healthier

Gluten Free Diet - What is Glute, Foods to Avoid, Gluten Free Food

If you have a medical condition like celiac disease, yes, it is important to avoid gluten. Even so, a product being gluten-free, it does not mean that it becomes a healthier product. Gluten-free products can still be packed with heaps of sugar, fat, and whatnots.

When gluten is being removed during manufacturing of the product, they are often made up for the difference in flavour as well as texture. For instance, more sugar, salt, and potato starches could be added to pack flavours.

To prevent getting cheated by gluten-free products, always check the ingredients list and nutrition information panel to ensure that your gluten-free product is also a healthier option.

Also, when following a gluten-free diet, be sure to include dietary fibre from other food sources such as, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds.

Detox is Fake News

Have you been spending money on ‘detox’ products promising to achieve a flat tummy or glowing skin? Detoxing in a medical stance is referred to a detoxification process where victims of substance abuse must endure and go through. Any other use of this term is not legitimate at all.

5 Stomach Exercises You Can Do at Home for a Flat Tummy - NDTV Food

1. THEY DO NOT WORK
Thank your liver and kidneys. They are the once doing the detox every second of your life. Having to take ‘detox products and supplements’ would only force your organs to work harder. Some would even result in dehydration. And water is needed to transport all the necessary nutrients to all part of the body! And if a product or supplement could help you to lose weight safely and effectively, obesity epidemic would have been eradicated globally. Sorry but there is no magic bullet out there.

2. THEY MIGHT CAUSE DIARRHOEA
Many of such products contain laxatives. And such laxatives not only a method used by people with eating disorder issues, but laxatives might result in oral contraceptive failure, leading to unwanted pregnancies. And, what makes it worse is that marketing is directed to mostly girls in their youths, even teenagers!

3. THEY CAN BE HARMFUL Because the term ‘detox’ is not regulated, you could possibly buy it anywhere off the internet. This also means that the product might contain other ingredients that might not be labelled clearly. There have been cases whereby harm has been caused from detox products. This includes liver and kidney issues… ironically.

That Relationship with Food Needs Work

When dieting doesn't work - Harvard Health

In modern days, many disordered eating behaviours are glamourized by social media. People are openly discussing about what they eat and not. And that, inadvertently creates a topic online or amongst friends.

Even though there is no firmed definition of disordered eating, it could be considered as any form of abnormal eating behaviour, despite not meeting the diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. However, it does causes distress.

It could be that you worry excessively about what you should or should not eat. Either way or, you find yourself spending lots of time thinking what to have next, your body shape and size.

Work with an accredited dietitian and psychologist to understand why your relationship with food seems challenging. Perhaps it could be how your family act around food or even your personal esteem levels.

Unfollow or mute anyone who triggers negativity towards your body and dietary lifestyle. Amongst friends and family, do not hesitate to mention in a non-offensive manner, “I am sorry bout I do not feel comfortable discussing about diets”.

Have you checked on your seniors today?

Have you heard of the ‘Tea and Toast Syndrome’? It is a form of malnutrition found in older adults. It could be resulted from an inability or lack of desire to prepare food. Especially in an aging population where we live in, it could be a great concern.

If one becomes less active while entering the golden years, lesser calories will be required as well. This might eventually lead to a lower motivation to whip up a nutritious meal. Of course, there would be other factors like poor access to economical foods, mobility and existing health conditions.  This means that one would probably turn to no-fuss, ready-to-eat foods like literally… tea and toast as an alternative.

An everyday diet of just tea and toast will result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, that would eventually lead to malnutrition. Caregivers should always check on the elderly to get their regular nutrient-dense meals in check. When always in doubt, seek help from a qualified healthcare provider.

3 Practical Tips to Swap to Wholegrains at Ease

Rice is the main staple that is deeply rooted in our culture, right in the heart of Singapore. However, often, we see refined white grains over brown, wild, red rice and other ‘wholegrains’ that you can name, which are easily found in the local supermarkets these days.

So the golden question is, “Why still choose wholegrains when it is so tough to chew?”

What is a wholegrain?
To break it down simply, a WHOLE grain as the name suggests, comprises of the entire seed of the plant – whereby the bran, germ, and endosperm are intact. On the other hand, white rice has been polished where the germ and bran are removed.  Compared with unenriched white rice, wholegrains have more nutrients – including dietary fibre, protein, B-group vitamins, iron, magnesium as well as copper, that are mostly being stripped during the milling process of the grain.

What does science say?
According to evidence-based studies1, switching to wholegrains can improve total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, blood sugar control and inflammation. Also, in a recent large study of almost 200,000 adults from the United States that took place over 30 years, those who frequently included wholegrains in their diets are found that they are of lower risk in developing type 2 diabetes, compared with those who rarely did so2.

How do we Singapore fare?
According to the National Health Population Survey 2019, the proportions of Singaporeans with self-reported chronic diseases continued to rise gradually. For instance, the self-reported type 2 diabetes percentage grew from 4.9% in 2007 to 6.9% in 2019. Also, it is well noted that the prevalence of chronic diseases related to poor intake of wholegrain foods in Singaporean adults (18 to 64 years old) rose for type 2 diabetes and obesity from 1998 to 20103.

So, what can I do to accept the taste and texture of wholegrains?

#1. Introduce small amounts over time
Remember that any change should be gradual. The sudden switch from refined grains to wholegrain rice might be frowned upon. Saying so, we are aiming for gradual acceptance and adaptability. Try replacing 10% of white rice to brown rice and additional 10% after a couple of weeks, repeat! Before you have realised, you might be so used to brown rice in a long run.

#2. Barley and corn are wholegrains too
Especially in Southeast Asia, when we think of grains, rice will probably just come to mind. Readily available food ingredients like barley and corn are actually wholegrains as well. Yes, the bran, germ, and endosperm are all still intact! Incorporating both barley and corn into a mixture of brown and white rice would provide some crunch, sweetness and colour that even kids might be open to it.  

#3. Pair wholegrains with pulses and dried figs
Like barley and corn, mixing beans like adzuki beans (Japanese red beans), mung beans and even dried figs would not only add flavour but also increasing the profile of protein, dietary fibre and calcium content from the figs!

What if I choose to eat out?
Look out for Food Canopy outlets in your area where wholegrain options are available. Alternatively, pick an eatery that participates in the Health Promotion Board’s Healthier Dining Programme. At these outlets, there are higher in wholegrains options to choose from.

References

  1. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2020 Nov;120(11):1859-1883.e31. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2020.06.021. (Marshall S et al.)
  2. BMJ. 2020 Jul 8;370:m2206. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m2206. (Hu Y et al.)
  3. Neo, J. E., & Brownlee, I. A. (2017). Wholegrain food acceptance in young Singaporean adults. Nutrients9(4), 371.

World Diabetes Day – 14 November 2020

Diabetes is an illness that occurred when your body is unable to control your blood sugar levels. Without proper control of your lifestyle and diet during the early stage of a certain type of diabetes, it will lead to severe complications.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes happens if your body is unable to effectively work with insulin, which is a hormone that is essential for your body to transform glucose(a simple form of sugar) to body energy. In Singapore, most diabetes patients have type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes also commonly known as insulin-dependent diabetes which your body produces no or insufficient insulin. This type of diabetes normally occurs in the time of patient’s adolescence or childhood stage.

Ways to prevent yourself from diabetes

  • Maintain your body weight to achieve Body Mass Index(BMI) in the healthy range
  • Have a balanced and healthy diet lifestyle, always monitor your saturated fats and sugar intake
  • Quit smoking, to reduce the risk of heart diseases and diabetes
  • Stay active, exercise at least 30 minutes for five days in a week
  • Restrict your alcohol consumption
  • Do medical check-up every year to monitor your body health

To help spread awareness on world diabetes day, all our outlets will have 20
¢ off on Milo kosong, Teh O kosong and Kopi O kosong. Do drop by to our outlets to enjoy this promotion tomorrow!

Reference: Who.int. 2020. Diabetes. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes