Know what people like to talk about in Singapore? Food. Plenty of good reasons to, considering the amazing spread of gastronomical fare available locally. Now, do you know what people don’t like to talk about? The calories in their favourite local dish.

Although how much calories you typically need in a day is dependent on several factors, including gender and lifestyle – there is a likelihood you may consume them all in one sitting! Here are some local favourites and their alternative options that you can consider the next time you’re getting the hunger pangs.

Who Doesn’t Like Chicken Rice

Chicken rice is perhaps one of the most commonly consumed and loved food across local cultures. It’s relatively economical, readily available and fills you up – everything you need in good food.

A serving of chicken rice (with meat) contains 702 kcal. An alternative and perhaps healthier, an option would be another local favourite – Nasi Lemak. You might be thinking that doesn’t make sense considering the ingredients involved in its preparation and all but apparently, it contains just 494 kcal, well below than in that plate of chicken rice!

Swap These Local Dishes To enjoy Lower Calories

No (Century) Egg Please

Have you thought about skipping that bowl of Century Egg Porridge for just plain Chicken Porridge? You should. A serving of the former contains 422 kcal while the latter is only half of that (almost) at 214 kcal. Additionally, pregnant women are not advised to consumed Century Eggs due to their high salt content, which may lead to water retention.

So order up that bowl of delicious Chicken Porridge next time instead.

Let’s Do A Fish Head Calorie Count

Fish head Beehoon Soup – it’s comfort food, and as the soup makes it down, it hits you at the right spots and makes everything OK. What’s not to like? Well, the calorie count for one.

A bowl of this local favourite contains 666 kcal and that you could land you in hot soup if you’re trying to mind your weight and health. You can still have your soup just remember to ask for Fish Slice Beehoon Soup instead. It’s only about 394 kcal, and pretty sure will hit you at the right spots as well.

Not So Tom Yummy

One of the best bits about living in a multicultural environment and cosmopolitan city is definitely the food. The Thai traditional Tom Yum Goong is synonymous with local fare despite its origins.

As for calories, well it’s synonymous with the local’s preference to not mind them. A bowl of this spicy favourite is packed with 271 kcal. While it’s considered relatively low compared to other fare, it’s still something you should be mindful of, particularly if regular indulgence is a habit. Try the Watercress and Pork Ribs Soup instead. It contains only 92 kcal – bet you didn’t think that something equally delectable could be healthy.

Burst That Bubble (Tea) Penchant

Once in a while, you get a food or beverage trend that sweeps the nation and the bubble tea, in that sense, deserves a special mention. There are bubble tea shops EVERYWHERE, and you’d probably stumbled onto one after stumbling into another right after getting your fix at yet another.

The choice of consuming one as with everything else is entirely up to you. After all, sometimes we’d like to indulge, but can you be sure it’ll be guilt-free bubble tea? A cup contains about 340 kcal, that’s even more than a bowl of Tom Yum Goong! Wean off that bubble tea habit if you can and if you care about your well-being and go for something healthier, like Green Bean Soup which comes with only 237 kcal (in comparison).

Food is meant to be enjoyed and not to cause you potential worries, including health issues further on. While it is ok to indulge once in a while but even when doing so, be mindful of what you consume. How you will be tomorrow depends on how you treat yourself today.

Written for HYPOXI Singapore