Here’s a round up of 23 local breakfast dishes (yes with calorie count included) that will make you think twice before eating them! But don’t worry, we spoke to nutritionist Jaclyn Reutens on how you can make them all healthier!
1 roll – 188 calories
Even though a roll of popiah contains 188 calories, most of us eat two rolls at a time which totals up to 376 calories. Ingredients like the sweet sauce, fried shallots, chilli sauce and Chinese sausages are the culprits of this calorie-heavy dish.
Nutritionist tip: Request to leave out the lap cheong and ask for less sweet sauce.
1 pair – 192 calories
Commonly eaten with porridge or soya milk, this dough fritter that is deep fried in oil contains a high amount of sodium and exceeds the daily intake of carbs for an average adult.
Nutritionist tip: Share a pair with someone so instead of eating two sticks, eat one stick or limit the full dose to twice a month. Eating it with soya bean milk which is high in protein is a good way to up the nutritional value of that meal.
1 roll – 132 calories
Although this breakfast food is steamed, the sweet sauce and chilli sauce drizzled on top are the main sources of all the calories.
Nutritionist tip: Ask for less sauce. Or ask for sauce in a separate bowl and scoop only 1 tablespoon of sauce per roll.Limit chilli to 1 teaspoon because that contains sugar and salt.
1 bowl – 370 calories
As compared to the soup version, dry fishball noodles contain much more calories due to the sauce-laden noodles.
Nutritionist tip: Ask for less sauce, ask for more vegetables. Or ask for the soup option and leave half the soup as it can be high in MSG
1 piece – 246 calories
Just a piece of this deep-fried goodie contains 246 calories. Not only is it high in calories, it is also high in sodium at 1,341 mg. Just 159 mg short of an average adult’s daily sodium intake.
Nutritionist tip: Limit to twice a month or once a week at most. Limit to only one piece at any one time. Have a piece of fruit to add some fibre to the meal.
1 bowl – 650 calories
According to HealthXchange, this savoury dish completed with braised pork belly and intestines already exceeds the daily allowance for cholesterol and sodium for an average adult.
Nutritionist tip: Do not finish the gravy which is loaded with salt. Remove large chunks of visible fat. Ask for less/no organ meats. Eat the tau kwa, tau pok and eggs instead.
1 bowl – 411 calories
Similarly to fishball noodles, a bowl of dry wanton noodles is doused in gravy with a side of soup. For a healthier option, ask for more vegetables and lesser gravy.
Nutritionist tip: Ask for more vegetable. Ask for less sauce and chilli, or opt for soup version.
One serving – 196 calories
You’re consuming empty calories. The grated coconut and red sugar also give you a mid-morning crash after the initial spike in sugar.
Nutritionist tip: Limit yourself to one teaspoon each of grated coconut and sugar for one serving of putu mayam. Saves you 96 calories.
One serving – 224 calories (four pieces of steamed rice cake with preserved radish and chilli).
This is really oily and high in sodium (900mg). Healthier gratification: Go easy on the chilli – it’s the main culprit behind the high sodium and fat content.
Nutritionist tip: Ask the stall owner to drain out the oil from the preserved radish before topping it on the rice cake to remove the excess fat and calories. Keep it to no more than four pieces.
One serving – 322 calories
It’s high in fat, and the amount of protein you get from the bits of chicken doesn’t add much to your recommended dietary intake.
Nutritionist tip: Eat half as it is rather high in fat and eat a piece of fruit to get some fibre in.
One bun – 363 calories
For an item that would do little to satiate you first thing in the morning, it’s high in calories and carbs (45g). And, chances are, you won’t stop at one. Healthier gratification: Red bean (205 calories), lotus seed (170 calories) and vegetable (150 calories) buns are better options.
Nutritionist tip: This pau usually contains fatty meat. There are some char siew paus with the healthier choice symbol, made with wholewheat flour.
One serving – 196 calories (two slices of white bread, two teaspoons of kaya and one teaspoon of butter).
This well-loved traditional breakfast food contains trans fat from the butter. Healthier gratification: Lay off the butter, and you’ll shave off 44 calories.
Nutritionist tip: Ask for the wholemeal bread.
One bowl – 224 calories (served with meat, egg, century egg and spring onions)
Th is is high in cholesterol (370mg), exceeding the recommended daily cholesterol intake of 300mg.
Healthier gratification: Go for fish porridge (211 calories) instead – it’s lower in cholesterol.
Nutritionist tip: Ask for some vegetables such as stir fried cabbage or long beans, if available. Add in some fish slices to make it a fuller meal.
One serving – 362 calories
The potato fi lling coupled with the rice wrap makes this a double-carb combo (52.4g).
Healthier gratification: Get the plain thosai instead (100 calories). Otherwise, have just half of the masala thosai.
Nutritionist tip: Eat half the serving as it is rather carb-heavy. Pair it off with some dhal for a more balanced meal.
One plate – 427 calories (served with a fried egg and a slice of fried luncheon meat.)
High carb (48.1g) and sodium (1,120mg) content aside, this is also low in dietary fibre (just 4g). You should be eating about 20g of fibre a day. Healthier gratification: Avoid the luncheon meat and other fried items – these are high in fat and sodium.
Nutritionist tip: Order a vegetable side as well, have tau kwa and an egg instead of fried chicken/luncheon meat/sausage. This will cut back on fat and sodium significantly.
One plate – 493 calories (with dark sweet sauce)
This contains 35g of fat and 1,290mg of sodium, close to the daily recommended limits. Healthier gratification: Opt for the white version. Sweet sauce can pack 50 to 100 calories.
Nutritionist tip: Choose the white version as the black version has more sugar from the sweet sauce.
Two pieces – 497 calories (one egg and one plain)
Besides being high in carbs (60g), the margarine that’s usually used to fry prata often contains trans fats. Healthier gratification: Stick to three tablespoons of curry for each piece of prata to cut down on your fat and cholesterol intake.
Nutritionist tip: Eat only one plain prata and order a plain thosai to make up for the other.
One bowl – 571 calories (served with one hard-boiled egg)
This is both high in salt (2,160mg) and cholesterol (206mg) – not something you want first thing in
the morning. Healthier gratification: Leave half to a quarter of the noodles behind – you’ll be halving the calories too.
Nutritionist tip: Eat half the noodles and ask for more bean sprouts to increase the fibre.
One serving – 587 calories
It’s high in sodium (2150mg), cholesterol (206mg) and carbs (61.4g). Healthier gratification: Get a chicken murtabak instead and save yourself about 98 calories.
Nutritionist tip: Choose the chicken or vegetable murtabak. Mutton is higher in fat and cholesterol.
One plate – 694 calories
It packs a whopping 2,660mg of sodium. Healthier gratification: Save about 174 calories by leaving a quarter of the noodles behind.
Nutritionist tip: Eat half the noodles and ask for more bean sprouts and tau kwa. If the gravy looks oily, leave half the portion behind
One plate – 635 calories
It contains 11.4g of saturated fat, thanks to the coconut milk. Healthier gratification: Ask for a half portion of rice and you’ll save half of the fat content.
Nutritionist tip: Eat half the rice and chilli to lower the calories. Have a side order of vegetables.
One serving – 721 calories
It’s carb-heavy (77g) and you’ll hit the daily recommended sodium intake with just this one dish. Healthier gratification: If you must order this, share it with a friend!
Nutritionist tip: It is carb-heavy, eat only half or three quarters. Drizzle the sauce over instead of pouring it over.
One bowl – 798 calories
This contains a total of 40g of fat and 21.6g of saturated fat. You’ve also just about reached the daily recommended sodium intake of 2,000mg. Healthier gratification: Resist the gravy and you’ll ditch more than half the fat and calories.
Nutritionist tip: The coconut gravy is rather high in fat and sodium. Leave half the gravy behind and ask for more vegetables.
Text by Aretha Loh and Tan Ju Min/Herworld