When we speak about healthier eating, we are reminded of the mantra, “LESS sugar, LESS salt, LESS oil”. However, what truly constitutes “less”? How do we ascertain “less” in our daily meals?

Healthier Choice Symbol with Taglines

In Singapore, the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS) serves as a trusted guide for making healthier dietary choices. Implemented by the government in 1988, the HCS has evolved to include nutritional taglines such as “Lower in Sugar”, “Lower in Sodium”, or “Lower in Saturated Fat” to help consumers make better choices when it comes to food intake.

Source: HPB 

In support of a healthier lifestyle, SingHealth Polyclinics will be releasing a series of videos entitled “Healthy Café at Eunos Polyclinic” to encourage healthier eating, with easy and nutrient-packed recipes that you can try out at home. The cooking demonstrations are conducted by our very own nurses, with the addition of healthy eating tips by our dietitians. 

A hearty and healthy bowl of Teochew porridge prepared by Nurse Manager, Sister Chia Puay Kim (SHP-Eunos),
in one of the Healthy Café cooking demonstrations. Learn to prepare this dish here.

“My aim is to make a simple dish more interesting by adding a variety of ingredients to enhance the taste, for better overall texture and added nutrients,” shared Sister Chia Puay Kim, Nurse Manager, SHP-Eunos. 

At the end of the day, you may not necessarily have to give up your favourite plate of Hokkien Prawn Noodles, one of the most calories-dense hawker food out there. You can still enjoy the delicious dish without the guilt by opting for a healthier option – to cook the meal at home with lesser salt and oil, moderate the gravy, and go easy on the chilli paste! 

However, if cooking a meal is not an option, choose food and beverage outlets that participate in HPB’s Healthier Dining Programme and go for dishes with less gravy and fewer deep-fried ingredients when dining out. 

Source: HPB 

“The journey to healthy eating is actually very simple!”, advised Ms Lew Yee Peng, a dietitian at SingHealth Polyclinics. “We just need to remember to eat fruits daily, add vegetables in at least two meals, skip the sugary drinks, and practise eating slowly.” 

Physical Activities for a Healthier You 

On top of healthier eating, keeping physically active is also an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle.  Studies have shown that regular exercises can significantly reduce the risk of premature death or developing serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. In addition, physical activities have also been linked to improved mental and cognitive health, better sleep quality and prevention of unhealthy weight gain (HPB, 2021).  

You can easily incorporate simple exercises into your routine with HPB programmes like MOVE IT and National Steps Challenge™. These national initiatives encourage Singaporeans to achieve daily activity goals while offering rewards for participation. 

Hearing from Mr Lean Zhen Chia, our Physiotherapist from Bukit Merah Polyclinic, “You don’t have to do extreme activities, just be consistent with light exercises, and a little progress each day adds up to big results.”

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