Hawker Food and It’s Hidden Sugar

Hawker Food and Its Hidden Sugar

We all cannot deny that Singapore is a food paradise with cuisines from different cultures and heritage. To find the cheap alternatives, we turn to hawker food for comfort. To enhance its flavours, most dishes are added with salt and sugar. Here are some selected favourites and their hidden sugar.

1. Roti Prata: 1 piece contains ~½ tsp of sugar (2.34g)

Generally, we consume about 2 pieces of prata at one go. The amount of sugar does not include the sugar from gravy and the additional sugar we add on the side.

2. Beef Satay: 1 Beef Satay and 1 tablespoon satay gravy contain ~1 tsp of sugar (5.1g)

Sugar is one of the crucial ingredients for meat marinate. Minimal order for satay at hawker usually goes up to 10 pieces. (That’s 10 tsp of sugar!) Make sure you share it with your friends and not devour all yourself.

3. Kaya Toast with Soft Boiled Eggs: 2 pieces of white bread with kaya, butter and soft-boiled eggs contain ~1 tsp of sugar (5.31g)

Depending on the generosity of the hawker, your kaya spread maybe thicker than usual. While washing down with your kopi/teh, make sure those are sui dai option as well. If not just one breakfast may add up to 5 tsp of sugar!

4. Laksa: 1 medium bowl contains ~2 tsp of sugar (9.88g)

Hidden sugar comes from the laksa gravy and chilli sauce. Avoid drinking all the gravy if possible.

5. Wanton Mee: 1 bowl of dry wanton mee contains ~2 tsp of sugar (10.59g)

The type of sauce added may vary, but generally includes, chilli, ketchup and dark soya sauce. Not to mention the sugar used to marinate the char siew.

6. Black Fried Carrot Cake: 1 plate contains ~2.5 tsp of sugar (13.62g)

Hidden sugar comes from the dark sweet sauce added. You may like to select the normal fried carrot cake the next time.

7. Tauhu Goreng: 1 medium size plate contains ~5 tsp of sugar (27.81g)

This dish is drizzled with peanut sauce where most of the sugar are. Try not to eat it as a meal, snack on this sparingly or share it with your friends.

8. Tau Huay: 1 serving contains ~6 tsp of sugar (31.93g)

A good option for tau huay is to opt for no or half portion of sugar syrup.

9. Chee Cheong Fun: 2 pieces of chee cheong fun with sauce contains~7 tsp of sugar (36.6g)

Just the thin crepe roll of rice flour do not contribute much of the sugar amount. Instead Singapore version of chee cheong fun is drizzled generously in sweet sauce. Why not try out the other type where sesame seed and a splash of sesame oil is added?

10. Mee Siam: 1 bowl contains ~10.5 tsp of sugar (54.18g)

This definitely almost burst the limit of added sugar recommended for a day. Avoid consuming all the sweet and spicy gravy to minimise the sugar level.

We should limit our added sugar intake to no more than 10% of our daily energy intake. That equates to about 9 – 11 teaspoons a day. Excessive intake of sugar will be converted and stored as fats, increasing our risk of obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and many other health problems. So, choose your food wisely the next time you head out for a meal at the hawker centre!