Health Blog

Unsaturated fats: Don’t fear the right fat

Unsaturated fats are the good fats to human body and fats are essential for maintaining body functions such as storage for energy, act as protection for important organ and helps in transportation of vitamins within the human body. By replacing saturated fats and trans fat with unsaturated fats in your diet are linked to lower risk of heart diseases and reduce your cholesterol level.

Polyunsaturated fats:

Omega-3

Omega-3 fats cut down the clotting of blood in your blood vessels and prevent the hardening of blood vessels. Thus, lower your blood pressure level and reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Foods rich in omega-3:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Chia seeds
  • Canola oil
  • Food products fortified with omega-3

Omega-6

Omega-6 fats help reduce bad cholesterol level (LDL) and promotes a strong and healthy heart.

Foods rich in omega-6:

  • Sweetcorn
  • Soya beans
  • Sunflower oil
  • Rapeseed
  • Almond

Monounsaturated fats:

Monounsaturated fats support maintaining of good cholesterol level (HDL) in your body and at the same time lowering the bad cholesterol level (LDL).

Foods rich in monounsaturated fats:

  • Avocado
  • Brazil nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Hazelnuts
  • Sesame oil

To achieve a healthy and balanced diet, moderate intake of good fats is important. Too much of good fats will also lead to an excess of calories intake that causes weight gained. Always remember to choose unsaturated fats foods over trans fats and saturated fats foods.

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Reference: nhs.uk. 2020. Facts About Fat – NHS. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/different-fats-nutrition/

Minerals: Go far with Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that is essential for the human body to function healthily. Zinc cannot be produced by your body, you will need to obtain zinc from your daily diet.

Benefits of zinc to our health:

Healing of wound: Application of zinc medicine on wounded skin or skin rashes fasten the healing of the wound.

Lower risk of some age-related diseases: Zinc slower down vision loss and development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Regulate of the immune system: Zinc helps in stimulate cells which support the thyroid system, destroy of cancerous or unhealthy cells, blood clotting and more.

Treatment for the common cold: Zinc medicine effectively reduce the symptoms and length of the common cold.

Treatment for diarrhoea: Zinc supplement can help in cure and prevention of diarrhoea.

Foods rich in Zinc:

  • Seafood: lobster, clams, oyster and crab
  • Fish: salmon and sardines
  • Meat & poultry: chicken, pork, lamb, beef and turkey
  • Eggs
  • Whole grains: Brown rice and oatmeal
  • Vegetables: asparagus, kale and mushrooms
  • Nuts and seeds: sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds
  • Black beans, lentils and chickpeas
  • Dairy-made foods: cheese and yoghurt

Do you know?

The recommended daily intake of zinc for normal adult age above 19-year-olds is 11mg for male and 8mg for female by the US Food and Nutrition Board (FNB).

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Reference: Ods.od.nih.gov. 2020. Office Of Dietary Supplements – Zinc. [online] Available at: <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/>

Carbohydrate: Do you know what is Glycaemic Index?

Have you ever come across glycaemic index in food? What is glycaemic index? This is a ranking where value from 0 to 100 is given to specific food depends on after eating this food, how much and how fast this food increase your blood glucose levels.

Foods with high (above 70) glycaemic index:

Foods that are broke down and absorbed fast in your body will lead to a spike in your blood glucose level and results in unstable blood glucose profiles. Thus, rated high in glycaemic index. Foods with high glycaemic index consist of:

  • White rice and white bread
  • Sugary and sweet foods
  • Potatoes
  • Soft drinks with high amount of sugar

Foods with medium (from 55 -70) and low (less than 55) glycaemic index:

Medium and low glycaemic index foods are broke down and absorbed more slowly which increase your blood glucose level in a stable manner. Some of the medium or low glycaemic index foods are:

  • Brown rice
  • Fruits
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Oats

Do you know?

Are foods with low glycaemic index is a healthier choice? Surprisingly the answer is no, as foods with low glycaemic index are not all healthy while not all foods with high glycaemic index are unhealthy. Such as pineapple and watermelon have high glycaemic index, but these are not unhealthy foods.

Apart from that, different recipe and cooking process will change the glycaemic index value. For example, foods that cooked with protein or fat will lower glycaemic index as protein and fat slower down carbohydrate absorption in your body. Having a balanced diet with right ratio of carbohydrate, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals are more important rather than focusing on glycaemic index value of foods.

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Reference: Healthxchange.sg. 2020. Diabetes: Limitations of Glycaemic Index for Blood Glucose Control [online] Available at: <https://www.healthxchange.sg/diabetes/essential-guide-diabetes/diabetes-limitations-glycaemic-index-blood-glucose-control>

Benefits and facts about Soya Bean

Soya beans are the greatest sources for plant-based protein. Therefore, products made from soya bean has been popular and long known as replacement of meat especially among vegan and vegetarian. Why does soya bean become a popular choice as replacement of meat and what are the health benefits of having soya bean?

Products like soya milk, tofu and soy flour which are made from soya bean are rich in essential nutrients, protein.

There are two sources of protein which are from animal and plant. However, plant-based protein such as beans and nuts has been identified as incomplete plant protein due to lack of one fundamental amino acid.

Nevertheless, proteins found in soya bean and animal consists of all amino acids required to build protein in the human body. Thus, soya beans and products made from soya beans are recognised as complete plant protein.

Health benefits of having soya-made products:

  • Rich source of minerals and vitamins such as calcium and vitamin K
  • Higher in omega fats while lower in saturated fat than meats
  • Free of lactose, suitable for people with lactose intolerance
  • High in fibre
  • Good source of antioxidants

Apart from the above, soya intake also helps to lower down bad cholesterol level which may reduce the risk of heart-related diseases. Soya consumption may reduce the risk of certain cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.

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Reference: Healthhub.sg.2020. Soya Bean — The Unique Plant Protein [online] Available at: <https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/190/soya_unique_plant_protein>

Trans Fat: Easy to gain, hard to lose

The most unhealthy type of fat is trans fat, as trans fat increases the bad cholesterol level (Low-density lipoprotein) while reducing your good cholesterol level (High-density lipoprotein). Diet with high intake of trans fat is strongly linked to the blood vessel and heart diseases. There are so many negative impacts comes along with intake of trans fat which lead to a ban of artificial trans fat in all foods product in Singapore by Health Promotion Board starting from June 2021.

What is trans fat?

Natural trans fat: Trans fat can be found naturally from certain dairy items and meat in a small amount. However, the effect of trans fat found naturally will be harmful or benefits to your body is still unknown.

Artificial trans fat: During the food processing, the manufacturer will add hydrogen into vegetable oil which results in the oil turn to solid while at room temperature. Food cooked with this oil will have a greater shelf life.

Major sources of trans fat:

  • Deep-fried foods: chicken nugget, fries and doughnuts
  • Snack: popcorn, potato chips and chocolate bars
  • Baked products: cakes, biscuits and pies
  • Non-dairy creamer
  • Margarine and vegetable shortenings
  • Convenient meals: Instant noodles and frozen pizzas

Ways to cut down on trans fat intake:

  1. Go through the food nutrition label carefully and buy the product option with no or lowest saturated fat
  2. Avoid the purchase of snacks and junk food
  3. Eat more vegetables and fruits and cut down on red meats as they contain natural trans fat
  4. Pick healthier cooking oils like sunflower and olive oil
  5. Buy products with Healthier Choice Symbol

Subscribe to our health blog via the green tab on the left of our website so that you can stay updated to our fitness, nutrition tips and many more. We are now having our first health blog lucky draw event, subscribe to our health blog and tag 3 friends on our Food Canopy Pte Ltd Facebook page giveaway post to join, good luck!❤

Reference: Healthhub.sg.2020. 5 Things to Start Doing Now That Artificial Trans Fat Has Been Banned [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/2067/5-things-to-start-doing-now-that-transfat-has-been-banned

Mayo Clinic. 2020. Trans Fat: Double Trouble For Your Heart. [online] Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/trans-fat/art-20046114>

Bone To Be Wild? Then You Need Calcium!

Calcium is an important mineral that is essential to build up strong teeth and healthy bones. Calcium also helps in blood clotting and control nerves, muscle and heartbeat. However, too much calcium supplement will have side effects while too less of calcium intake will lead to deficiency and result in osteoporosis (weak & fragile bone).

Dietary sources of calcium intake:

  • Salmon, pilchard and sardine
  • Dairy-based products: cheese, yoghurt and milk
  • Green vegetables: spinach, watercress and broccoli
  • Soya milk with additional calcium
  • Fortified products: cereals, flour and fruit juices
  • Chia seeds, almonds and sesame

Do you know?

The recommended daily intake of calcium for normal adults age between 19 and 50-year-olds is 800mg (approximately 2 glass of 250ml of low-fat milk) by Health Promotion Board.

Symptoms of calcium deficiency:

  • Muscle cramp
  • Bones fracture easily
  • Numbness in your fingers, face and feet
  • Poor memory
  • Soft and breakable nails
  • Hallucinations

Too much of calcium will lead to:

  • Stomach-ache
  • Bone pain
  • Weak muscle
  • Kidney problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Tiredness

Subscribe to our health blog via the green tab on the left of our website so that you can stay updated to our fitness, nutrition tips and many more. We are now having our first health blog lucky draw event, subscribe to our health blog and tag 3 friends on our Food Canopy Pte Ltd Facebook page giveaway post to join, good luck!❤

Reference: Healthhub.sg.2020. Recommended Dietary Allowances Choose Beverages and Food with Less Sugar [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/192/recommended_dietary_allowances

Medicalnewstoday.com. 2020. Calcium: Health Benefits, Foods, And Deficiency. [online] Available at: <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248958> [Accessed 21 August 2020].

Carbohydrate: Facts about free sugars

High intake of sugar not only cause tooth problems but also obesity and other health issues. Free sugars are the hidden risks in your daily diet that lead to health problems.

Free sugars are:

  • Added sugars in drinks or food products. Such as cereals, soft drinks, cake, yoghurt and biscuits. Sugars might be added during the food processing at the factory, or by the baker at the bakery shop or by yourself at home.
  • Sugars which naturally found in foods like honey, vegetable juices, fruit juices and syrup. These are considered as free sugars as their food structure has been changed and these sugars are ‘freed’.

Sugars that are naturally found in fruit, vegetables and dairy-based products (eg. milk) does not consider as free sugars. However, these sugars still contribute to your total sugar intake.

Recommended daily intake of total sugar:

The recommended daily intake of total sugar is less than 10% of your total energy intake by Health Promotion Board. For example, if your daily calorie intake is 2000kcal then your total sugar intake should be 50g (10 teaspoons) of sugar. However, additional cutback to 25g (5 teaspoons) of sugar is greatly encouraged as this will bring more significant benefits to your health.

Tips to cut down sugar in food & drinks:

  • Replace soft drinks with sparkling water mixed with lemon or mint
  • Reduce sugar or opt for sugarless hot drinks, add low-fat milk instead
  • Fruit juices without added sugar still contain a high level of sugar, limit your intake less than 150ml every day or eat whole fruit instead
  • Read the nutrition label and pick the product with the lowest total sugar level
  • Try to go for sliced strawberry or banana as your toast spread rather than serving with chocolate, honey or jam on your toast.
  • Purchase unsweetened cereals and avoid those flavoured with honey or chocolate

Subscribe to our health blog via the green tab on the left of our website so that you can stay updated to our fitness, nutrition tips and many more. We will be having our first health blog lucky draw event next week, more details will be announced on our Food Canopy Pte Ltd Facebook page ❤

Reference: nhs.uk. 2020. Sugar: The Facts. [online] Available at: <https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-does-sugar-in-our-diet-affect-our-health/>

Healthhub.sg.2020. Choose Beverages and Food with Less Sugar [online] Available at: <https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/15/dietary_guidelines_adults#:~:text=Our%20sugar%20consumption%20should%20be,such%20as%20cakes%20and%20candies>

Is Saturated Fat Bad for health?

Do you know that there are different types of fat that can have different impacts on your health? Both saturated fat and trans fat are unhealthy fats, which are normally in solid-state while in room temperature. A diet with a high intake of saturated fat will lead to stroke, heart disease and other health issues. This is due to saturated fat will increases ‘bad’ cholesterol level (known as LDL-cholesterol) in your body.

Major intakes of saturated fat are from:

  • Animal fat: meats with skin, fatty cut of meat and sausages
  • Deep-fried dishes: fries, fried chicken and onion rings
  • Coconut: coconut cream, coconut milk and coconut oil
  • Full-fat dairy foods: butter, yogurt, cheese, milk and ghee
  • Dishes cooks with palm-based oil
  • Dessert: chocolate, cake and ice cream

How much saturated fat can you have?

According to Health Promotion Board, the recommended intake of saturated fats is no more than 21g every day for a healthy man aged from 19 to 60 years old while for a healthy woman is no more than 17g a day.

How to reduce saturated fat in your daily intake?

  • Read the food nutrition label and pick the option with lowest saturated fat
  • Limit your deep-fried food intake, steam, boil or bake your food instead
  • Pick the leaner part of meat such as chicken breast or beef tenderloin
  • Go for reduced-fat or fat-free dairy products such as non-fat milk or low-fat cheese
  • Cook with olive or canola oil rather than butter

Subscribe to our health blog via the green tab on the bottom left of our website so that you can stay updated to our fitness, nutrition tips and many more. Stay tuned for our upcoming lucky draw event ❤

Reference: fats, F., 2020. Facts About Saturated Fats: Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia. [online] Medlineplus.gov. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000838.htm#:~:text=Saturated%20fat%20is%20a%20type,high%20amounts%20of%20saturated%20fat

Healthhub.sg.2020. Fat Matters [online] Available at: <https://www.healthhub.sg/sites/assets/Assets/Categories/Chronic%20Illness/FatMattersEnglish.pdf>

A dose of positivity a day. Keeps the depression away.

Depression can happen to anyone, from all ages in all countries. It is a mental sickness that will affect people’s daily life. In the worst scenario, depression may lead to suicide. However, depression can be taken care of and treated. Knowing the ways to identify symptoms of depression could help to keep you and the people around you safe.

Signs of Depression

If you are struggling with more than five of these signs daily for more than two weeks, you might be having depression.

  1. Sleeping too much or struggle to fall asleep or difficult to sleep well throughout the night
  2. A sudden change in eating habit
  3. Feeling depressed or moody continuously for a long time
  4. Overthinking or difficult to stay focus
  5. Losing interest in previous favourite activities
  6. Feeling useless, loneliness or guilty
  7. Low in energy and always feeling tired
  8. Thoughts about suicide because of hopelessness

Prevention of Depression

  • Have enough sleep and eat at the regular time. Maintain good health helps you to fight and prevent depression.
  • Know yourself and love yourself. It is important to feel being loved by yourself and your loved one so that your life is full of meaning.
  • Plan a daily routine with some activity for yourself. This will encourage you to live a life with daily purpose.
  • Speak up to someone if you need helps. With the support and company of your friends and family, you can clear your blues away easily.
  • Do not run away from your feelings. Hiding your true feelings will not help you to fight depression but you might be even more depressed. Face and accept it can help in recovery.
  • Join your favourite activity even if you lose interest. This can stop you from losing yourself.

Always remember to voice out for support if you think you might suffer in depression. Don’t forget to subscribe to our health blog so that you can stay updated to our fitness, nutrition tips and many more. Stay tuned for our upcoming lucky draw event ❤

Reference:
Healthhub.sg.2020. How To Identify And Deal With Depression [online] Available at: <https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/1296/how-to-identify-and-deal-with-depression>

Vegan Soup – The Green or The Orange?

Are you bored with the daily question: what to eat? Soup can be your perfect choice for a light meal or when it is rainy weather outside. Both of these recipes are vegan-friendly too!

Green Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 small potatoes
  • 300g peas
  • 700ml water or vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mixed herbs

Preparation

  1. Peel and chop potato, garlic and onion.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a pot, add garlic and onion and sauté. Add peas, potatoes, water and season with mixed herbs, pepper and salt to taste.
  3. Cook with low heat for 12minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Turn off the heat, add lemon juice and mixed it.
  4. Blend it with the blender to smooth.
  5. Serve the soup with a slice of sourdough or chopped peanuts on top.

Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 360ml vegetable broth
  • 400ml coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1kg pumpkin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mixed herbs

Preparation

  1. Peel and dice garlic, onion and pumpkin.
  2. Inside a pot, heat the coconut oil, add garlic, onion and ginger, stir-fry gently till fragrant.
  3. Pour the vegetable stock and coconut cream into the pot and add pumpkin. Heat it till boiling.
  4. Add pepper and salt to taste.
  5. Cook with low heat until the pumpkin is soft (about 10minutes).
  6. Blend it with the blender to smooth.
  7. Serve the soup with some pumpkin seeds on top or a slice of garlic bread on the side.

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