Want to make healthier and better informed choices when you eat out?

Are you watching your calories? Are you especially concerned about your saturated fat, cholesterol or sodium intake?

To help you along, HealthXchange, in collaboration with the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at KK Women's and Children's Hospital​ ​(KKH), a member of the SingHealth group, has developed an easy colour-code guide for quick reference. Colours are based on the following legend.​

Colour Legend Amount Per Serving
Green Healthy
Orange Moderate
Red High

Bak Chang (132g) - Glutinous rice with meat, chestnut, mushroom, wrapped in leaves, steamed

Bak Chang Kcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
2768 ​10 3.8​
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g) Cholesterol (mg) Sodium (mg)
​3.339 73 486​

Comment : This snack should be eaten occasionally as it is high in energy, total fat, saturated fat and sodium.

​Dim Sum - Har Gao (18g) - Minced prawns and fish meat, wrapped in a flour skin and steamed

Dim Sum - Har Gao Kcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
271 1 0.3​
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g) Cholesterol (mg) Sodium (mg)
​0.44 ​5 74​

Comment : 3 har gao would make a suitable snack for someone who is watching their weight or blood cholesterol level. However, they are high in sodium, so avoid dipping in extra sauce.​

Dim Sum - Siew ​Mai (16g) - Minced pork, shrimp and fish meat, wrapped in a flour skin, and steamed

Dim Sum - Siew ​Mai Kcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
291 1 0.4​

 

Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g)Cholesterol (mg)Sodium (mg)
​0.33 4 99​

​Comment : 3 siew mai would make a suitable snack for someone who is watching their weight. However, they are high in sodium, so avoid dipping in extra sauce.

Dim Sum - Spring Roll, Deep Fried (22g) - Vegetables, shrimp, chicken wrapped in flour skin, fried golden brown

Dim Sum - Spring Roll, Deep Fried Kcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
701 4 1.7
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g)Cholesterol (mg)Sodium (mg)
​0.77 3 141​

Comment : 1 spring roll would be within the energy allowance for a snack if you are watching your weight. However, they are usually fried in palm oil, which is high in saturated fat, so limit if you have high blood cholesterol.

Dim Sum - You Tiao, Stuffed With Octopus Paste (18g) - Flour fritter with octopus paste

Dim Sum - You Tiao Kcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
611 4 ​1.5​
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g)Cholesterol (mg)Sodium (mg)
​0.46 6 ​35​

Comment : 1 you tiao with octopus paste would be within the energy allowance for a snack if you are watching your weight. However, they are usually fried in palm oil, which is high in saturated fat, so limit if you have high blood cholesterol.

Ban Mian (528g) - Flat egg noodles with egg, anchovies, minced pork meat, green vegetables

Ban Mian Kcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
47522 22 8.4​
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g)Cholesterol (mg)Sodium (mg)
​3.248 232 2196​

Comment : This one‐dish meal is moderately high in energy, and it is high in protein. To make it a healthier option, (i) ask for more vegetables to increase the fibre content, (ii) omit the fried shallots and ikan bilis to reduce the total fat and sodium content, (iii) do not drink up all the soup to reduce your sodium intake, and (iv) ask for sliced fish instead of minced pork to reduce the total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol contents.

Char Kway Teow (384g) - Rice noodles with cockles, Chinese sausage, and sweet sauce, fried

Char Kway Teow Kcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
74423 38 29.2​
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g) Cholesterol (mg) Sodium (mg)
​7.376 234 1459 ​

Comments : Although this dish is a good source of fibre and protein, it is very high in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Eating this dish exceeds the daily saturated fat allowance, and provides 70% or more of the daily cholesterol and sodium allowance for an adult!

Read on to find out the nutritional value of other common hawker Chinese food in Singapore.

Ref: S13