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5 food trends in Singapore: How healthy are they?

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Certain food trends blow over as quickly as they gain popularity, although certain ones like sushi have become a mainstay in the Singapore dining scene. Here’s a list of food options that have gained popularity amongst Singaporeans over the past few years and what they do to your body!


Açaí berry (Açaí bowls)
An açaí bowl is basically frozen açaí berries blended into a smoothie-like consistency, topped with fruits, berries, nuts, or peanut butter – it’s entirely up to you! The result is a feel-good breakfast to start off your day. The tropical acai berry not only tastes good, but also offers a wealth of health benefits!

Açaí berries contain antioxidants and high levels of dietary fibre, and can reportedly improve heart health by lowering cholesterol levels. These berries are also believed to promote digestion and boost the body’s immune system and cellular health.

Cheese
Cheese tarts, cheese fries, cheese flakes and anything cheese-flavoured typically ends up being a big hit amongst Singaporeans. Cheese tastes great, but is it good for you?

There are various types of cheese, each with different proportions of fat and protein. Cottage cheese contains just 1% of fat, while cream cheese contains an astounding 34%. Blue cheese and parmesan are also high in saturated fats, which can lead to undesirable health conditions should they be consumed regularly. If you’re looking to for healthy options, be sure to pick low-fat cheeses, or those that have been aged for shorter period of time, as they tend to contain less fat and salt.

All cheeses however, are great sources of calcium and protein. A whole cup of milk is typically used to produce one slice of cheese, which explains why you can easily reach the recommended daily-intake of calcium without consuming too much cheese! Milk proteins found in cheese also help lower blood pressure and increase absorption of minerals in digestion.

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Frozen yogurt
Massive queues outside yogurt outlets are proof that frozen yogurt has overtaken ice-cream in the dessert race, as a healthier, low-fat alternative.

Yogurt is rich in nutrients that contribute to overall health, including minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and more, all of which are important for the healthy formation of cells, bones and teeth. It also promotes digestive and cardiovascular health.

However, froyo can also be unhealthy, as some receipes are packed with sugar, and it is often consumed in bigger portions than ice-cream. Toppings also range from healthy fruits, to the unhealthier options such as oreo biscuits, peanuts, or dried fruits, which could contain high fat or sugar content. Seems like frozen yogurt is only as healthy as you want it to be!

nutrition trendsPhoto: Shutterstock


Matcha
Similar to cheese, matcha is also beloved by Singaporeans. The stone-ground powdered green tea originating from Japan is a more potent source of antioxidants compared to standard green tea, and has been linked to fighting cancer and heart disease.

Matcha also boosts metabolism, making it diet-friendly and helpful to weight loss. However, other than brewed matcha tea, other forms of matcha beverages or foods may not provide the same health benefits as other ingredients could lead to the dilution of its beneficial effects.

Sushi
Sushi has been proclaimed as the perfect low-fat meal, although the kind of sushi you decide to order could change that. The main ingredients of sushi – rice, vinegar, and fish – all have potential weight-loss benefits, while other common ingredients such as cucumber, avocado, and eggs, are also known to be healthy.

Salmon and tuna are both low-calorie, and high in protein and omega-3s, which promote heart health. Wasabi and ginger are also healthy choices to have along with your sushi, as they help to boost the immune system. Anything fried, or drizzled with mayo, should be avoided, as those are counterproductive to your weight-loss goals, containing high levels of fat.

Despite being packed with nutritious benefits, these popular food trends still need to be consumed in moderation, especially since they are usually not consumed on their own. They can only be considered healthy options if they are not eaten with unhealthy ingredients.

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