Health Blog

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”.

You are not alone.

It is indeed a stressful period for a lot of people during this pandemic. During this time of uncertainty, routines have been disrupted, and that could potentially result in a lot of stress and tension. Especially during COVID-19 restrictions, loneliness might be something that could impact one’s daily living negatively. Evidence-based studies have shown a clear connection between stress and obesity.

So, how does stress and obesity impact one’s diet? Hormonal changes could signal the brain to eat more frequently and crave for sugary and high-fat foods. And ultimately, weight gain might become an issue.

Food could eventually become a substitute as a friend – It is always there, an alternative to reduce loneliness, and a form of comfort when stress kicks in.

Reaching out to your friends and loved ones over a phone call might be a good way to manage stress as you are able to share your emotions and you may feel less lonely. Otherwise, seek an accredited counsellor or professional help to tide over the period. You are not alone.

Give Eggs a Chance.

When we talk about eggs, people usually raise their eyebrows with concern as the egg yolk is rich in cholesterol. The thing is that cholesterol in eggs does not have a significant effect on blood cholesterol.

In fact, what we can focus is to limit the amount of saturated fat (bad fat) intake. By consuming too much saturated fat can raise the amount of cholesterol in our blood. Hence, eggs could be part of one’s diet if the daily intake is low in saturated fat.

Of course, we are talking about healthy individuals here. Seek medical advice if unsure.

Eggs are excellent options for protein, vitamins, and minerals.  Imagine a chick hatching, getting all the necessary nutrients for it to grow! Also, it is very economical and readily available. It is a complete protein that is also low in fat!

I am poaching an egg after this. Any takers? 🙂

Do you know?

Do you know that edamame is an immature soybean? When they are being harvested, they are green in colour. After the pods are being harvested, they harden and becomes yellow in colour. This means that the beans have matured and are ready to be used to make soy products like tofu and soy drinks.

Unprocessed soy like edamame is a good source of dietary fibre that many Singaporeans are lacking in their diet. On top of that, soy consists of antioxidants that contribute many health benefits.

In addition, soy consists of healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fat which is good for heart health. Also, soy contains calcium and iron.

Include tempeh or miso, and your gut would thank you! Fermented soy contains good bacteria that helps with digestion and gut health.

Size does matter?

Do you know that if you are given a larger plate of food or a larger can drink, you would mindlessly eat more?

These days, there are so many food products from burgers to drinks with an upsized option. And clever marketing schemes would also promote that it is better for value!

For instance, if you are given a 500ml can of coconut water, you are likely to finish that can in one sitting. However, if you are only provided a 330ml can of coconut water, you would just be having that amount instead.

If you do not want to mindlessly overeat, choose a smaller package over the larger one. Likewise, choose a smaller plate over a larger one, so that the amount of food looks “more”. And, you might still feel peckish if you place the same quantity of food on a large plate.

Of course, if there is still room for seconds, you may go ahead!