Everyone dreams of being healthier but unfortunately for Malaysians, we’re blessed with so many great foods that it’s hard to maintain a healthy diet! Actually, it’s much simpler than we think IF we know what food we can substitute. And the good news is: there are tons of healthier options out there for common foods we eat daily and they taste just as good, if not better!
(Especially due to less guilt while eating).
Read on to find out the eight common foods we all can’t help but be addicted to and their healthier, tastier alternatives:
1. White rice for every meal, every day
White rice has been found to cause obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure due to the high levels of starch in it. The worst part is, white rice is stripped of its nutrients, so you’re basically eating empty carbs!
Substitute it with: Brown rice or Nasi India
Nasi India has very low levels of starch while brown rice contains more protein and fibre, which can lower your cholesterol and help you eat less too as it makes you feel full faster.
2. Santan for your kari kepala ikan
Ahh… the villain in most of our favourite (and rich) Malaysian dishes. Coconut milk can give any dish that extra umph, but it’s high in calories and fat which can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease.
Substitute it with: Yogurt or Greek yogurt
Swap out your santan with plain yogurt to maintain the same rich taste, but with more protein and nutrients, and less guilt! It also helps to fight against osteoporosis and irritable bowel disease.
3. Condensed milk for your cup of teh tarik
For us Malaysians, no lepak session is ever complete without a cup of teh tarik! But this sinful drink contains sugar AND condensed milk which makes it high in calories and can increase your risk of becoming diabetic too.
Substitute it with: Almond milk
Instead of using heavy creamers, use almond milk that is low in calories and sugar, but high in calcium and vitamins to promote better health overall!
4. Chilli sauce, the silent killer of all condiments
It’s almost compulsory for us Malaysians to dip our fried food into chilli sauce. After all, it’s a pretty harmless thing to do, right? Wrong! Chilli sauce or ketchup are actually packed with excessive amounts of sodium and sugar, which can lead to diabetes and kidney stones as well!
Substitute it with: Hot sauce, chilli flakes or salsa
Chilli flakes, hot sauce or salsa can give you more flavour as they’re made with natural ingredients and contain very little calories and additives. They even contain added nutrients so your body isn’t taking in too much of overly processed food.
5. Ice cream: everyone’s favourite comfort food
Ice cream is everyone’s go-to dessert when we’re stress eating. But just like every tasty treat in this cruel world, it is also high in sugar, fat and calories, which can easily lead to diabetes, obesity and unhealthy sugar cravings.
Substitute it with: Frozen yogurt
Frozen yogurt is just as good as ice cream but it contains lesser calories and almost half the fat content, especially because it’s made from non-fat milk and contains good bacteria to prevent intestinal inflammation.
6. Your favourite keropoks & kerepeks
Malaysians sure love their keropok and kerepek. You probably know that they are super unhealthy as they contain high levels of fat, calories and all that artificial flavouring, but it turns out, potato chips might also contain a chemical named acrylamide that could increase your risk cancer!
Substitute it with: Salted popcorn
Salted popcorn is not just healthier as it’s lower in calories, it’s also a lot more filling. A study showed that 15 calories of popcorn is as filling as 150 calories of chips!
7. Boba pearls in your milk tea
Sure, you might feel less guilty when you order boba milk tea with less sugar, but what about those boba pearls? Those chewy treats are high in carbs (from the starch) and rich with calories which are primarily from the sugar!
Substitute it with: Grass jelly
So, the next time you’re ordering your milk tea (as an occasional treat, not every day!), order it with grass jelly instead, which is a fat-free ingredient! Grass jelly is made from actual natural plants filled with antioxidants as well as antibacterial and anti-cancer properties!
8. Carbonated drinks
It’s no secret that carbonated drinks are high in artificial flavouring, chemicals and most of all: sugar. But do you know how much? Believe it or not, a can of your favourite soda drink contains around eight tablespoons of sugar!
Substitute it with: Flavoured sparkling water
Sparkling water is an excellent substitute as it not only offers the same fizzy sensation, but it’s also way healthier as it contains up to three times LESS sugar! Perfect for a refreshing pick-me-up!
Don’t believe us? Try one yourself with the new Vida flavoured sparkling water.
This certified halal sparkling water is not only refreshing, but it is also certified as a healthy choice as it contains only 4.3g of sugar per 100ml and it is free of any artificial colouring. But you know what’s even cooler? Popular Malaysian actress Janna Nick is also the ambassador of this drink. Now, that’s how you know it’s truly good!
Vida is available in four refreshing flavours:
- Clear Cider
- Clear Lemon
- Minty Lime
- Clear Honey (NEW!)
If you’re excited to try out a can, you can grab Vida at these stores:
- KK Mart
- BHP Petrol
But if you can’t head out during this MCO period, worry not! You can also get Vida delivered straight to your home, as they are now available 0n these online platforms:
Sounds pretty cool huh?
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