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 LegendAmount Per Serving
GreenHealthy
orangeModerate
redHigh

Char Siew Rice (327g) - Pork barbequed in sweet sauce, sliced thinly, served with rice and cucumber

Char Siew RiceKcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
605241611.9​
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g) Cholesterol (mg) Sodium (mg)
​5.99156880​

Comment : This meal is moderately high in energy and fibre, but it is a good source of protein. You can make this meal healthier by asking for more cucumber (to increase the fiber), removing any visible fat on the char siew (to reduce the saturated fat content) and not adding extra sauce or gravy as the sodium content is 44% of an adult's daily sodium allowance.

​Chicken Rice (Roasted) (382g) - Chicken, roasted, with skin, served with rice and chilli sauce

Chicken Rice (Roasted)Kcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
60725238.7​
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g)Cholesterol (mg)Sodium (mg)
​275471287​

Comment : This meal is moderately high in energy, but it is a good source of protein. You can make this meal healthier by asking for more cucumber (to increase the fiber), removing the skin on the chicken and asking for steamed rice (to reduce the total and saturated fat contents) and not adding extra soya sauce as the sodium content is more than 1/2 of an adult's daily sodium allowance.​

Chicken Soup With Chinese Herbs (534g) - Soup with chicken and Chinese herbs

Chicken Soup With Chinese HerbsKcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
1452451.8​
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g)Cholesterol (mg)Sodium (mg)
​0.61119909​

Comment : This dish is low in energy and fat, plus it is a good source of protein. However, if you need to watch your sodium intake, e.g. if you have high blood pressure, be aware that this dish alone contributes almost 1/2 of an adult's daily sodium allowance. If you have no such concerns, go ahead and have this dish with stir-fried vegetables and steamed rice!

Duck Rice - Roasted (410g) - Duck rice with meat

Duck Rice - RoastedKcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
67324205.9
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g)Cholesterol (mg)Sodium (mg)
​7.69992545​

Comment : This meal is a good source of protein. However, it is high in energy and cholesterol. You can make this meal healthier by asking for more cucumber (to increase the fibre), removing the skin on the duck and limiting the amount of gravy.

Duck Rice - skin removed (350g) - Duck rice with meat (skin removed), served with cucumber

Duck Rice - skin removedKcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
53024113.6​
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g)Cholesterol (mg)Sodium (mg)
​3.49980326​

Comment : As you can see, removing the skin on the duck reduces the energy, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium contents of the meal. Remember to ask for more cucumber to increase the fibre content or have a fruit with your meal.

Fishball Noodle - Dry (327g) - Yellow noodles with fish ball and chye sim, served with chili sauce

Fishball Noodle - DryKcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
3701983.3​
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g)Cholesterol (mg)Sodium (mg)
​3.955431645​

Comment : This meal is low in energy, fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Hence, it is a good choice for those who are watching their weight or blood cholesterol levels. However, it is high sodium, providing more than 80% of an adult’s daily allowance for sodium. You can reduce the sodium content by asking for less sauce in the noodles as the fishballs themselves are already salty.

Fishball Noodle - Soup (798g) - Thick, yellow egg noodles in soup, with fish balls, fish cake, bean sprouts

Fishball Noodle - SoupKcal​Protein(g)Fat(g)Saturated Fat(g)
55130102.4
Dietary fibre (g)​Carbs (g) Cholesterol (mg) Sodium (mg)
​8.888402913 ​

Comment : This meal is low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, and moderate in energy. Hence, it is a suitable choice for those who are watching their weight or blood cholesterol levels. However, it is very high sodium, exceeding the daily limit for sodium for an adult. You can reduce the sodium content by leaving the soup behind.​

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

Ref: S13​