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Whether you are grocery shopping or choosing what to eat when out, there are always healthier options. Dietitians from Dietetic & Food Services at Changi General Hospital (CGH), a member of the SingHealth group, share tips.

Tips for grocery shopping

Fruits and vegetables

Choose seasonal fruits and vegetables, as they are fresher and cheaper. Also, buy a variety of different colours so that you get the benefits of a wide range of different vitamins and nutrients.


Grains and starches are staples in Asian diet and there are many varieties available for sale in our supermarkets. 

For a high-fibre breakfast, try preparing overnight oats.

​How to prepare overnight oats

​Overnight oats can be prepared by soaking 2/3 bowl of rolled or instant plain oats with ½ cup of reduced sugar soymilk and 3 tablespoons of low fat yoghurt.

Adding a teaspoon of chia seeds (also contain omega 3 fatty acids) also boosts fibre intake by an additional 1.5g.


Fresh fish is ideal but if you are looking for more affordable options (liked tinned fishes), opt for tuna and sardines which are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Also, choose canned tuna ‘in water’ or ‘in olive oil’, or canned sardines with ‘reduced salt’.

For a quick and easy meal option, prepare a wholemeal tuna wrap (1 piece of wholemeal wrap with 1/3 of a can of tuna and slices of iceberg lettuce, tomato and cucumber). Get creative with vegetables – you may also choose to add sliced fresh onions and capsicums. Couple your meal with a serving of fruit and you have a ready-to-go wholesome and nutritious meal!


When snack shopping, reach for healthier options that have a healthy dose of unsaturated fats. For example, you can try:

  • A small handful of raw mixed nuts (10 pieces)

  • 1 tablespoon of natural “no added salt, no added sugar” peanut butter, spread onto 3 slices of plain high fibre crackers

  • A quarter of an avocado, spread onto 1-2 slices of wholemeal bread

Tips for eating out

Living in a hawker paradise like Singapore can make eating healthy seem challenging. However, you can try adopting at least 1 out of the following 3 tips the next time you eat out:

1) Choose vegetable dishes or foods cooked using healthier methods

Examples: When eating economy rice or Nasi Padang, choose just one meat item and two vegetable items. If picking a sandwich, opt for chicken breast with salad vegetables. For western mains, try grilled fish with baked potato and blanched broccoli. For Yong Tau Foo Beehoon soup, pick at least two to three vegetable items.

2) Avoid gravy and creamy dressings

Ask for no extra gravy on rice, and avoid drinking the gravy from dishes like lontong and kway chap. For dressings, choose lemon, olive oil, or vinegar-based ones instead of creamy dressings like mayonnaise or thousand island.

3) Remove the skin and fats from chicken, poultry and meat

The simple step of removing the skin from a grilled meats will save you more than 2g of saturated fat!

See the previous page for cholesterol food tips on what to eat and avoid.

Ref: L20

Check out other articles on cholesterol:

Truth About 'Good' (HDL) and 'Bad' (LDL) Cholesterol

Slim But with High Cholesterol, Is It Possible?

Exercises to Lower Bad Cholesterol (and Increase the Good)

Can Plant Sterols Lower Bad Cholesterol?

Cholesterol Meds: Alternatives to Statins