Fried Rice OR Fried Bee Hoon
You Should Be Eating: Fried Rice
The amount of calories from both dishes are similar, but fried rice is a healthier choice. Typically, a standard portion (about 200g) of either dish contains 250 to 300kcal, says Magdalin Cheong, chief dietitian at Changi General Hospital. But don’t forget the side dishes you may pair with your bee hoon – a plate of vegetarian bee hoon with the usual deep-fried sides contains 369kcal and a whole lot more sodium.
(Also read: Our Favourite Hawker Food Stalls For Healthier Eats)
Hot Dog Bun OR Hamburger
You Should Be Eating: Hamburger
They’re both nutritional losers, but choose the burger over the hot dog bun, says Magdalin. While the buns tend to have fewer calories (because they come in smaller portions), they’re typically packed with more fat. Hamburgers are slightly healthier, with only half the amount of cholesterol (27mg) and a quarter less sodium (342mg).
Tomato Basil Pasta OR Pizza Margherita
You Should Be Eating: Tomato Basil Pasta
While both are tomato-based, pasta trumps pizza. A 200g serving of pasta contains only 202kcal compared to 269kcal for a 125g slice of pizza, says Magdalin. At 725mg of sodium, the pizza has more than triple the amount in pasta.
Chicken Caesar Salad OR Grilled Chicken Sandwich
You Should Be Eating: Grilled Chicken Sandwich
With cheese, croutons and a creamy dressing, the salad (490kcal, 32g fat) is four times higher in fat content than the healthier sandwich (340kcal, 7g fat). While you do get some fibre with the fat infusion, a Caesar salad is usually made with romaine lettuce, which isn’t as nutrient-rich as darker greens.
(Also read: 9 Unhealthy Foods You Should Never Order When Eating Out)
Chicken Thighs OR Pork Chop
You Should Be Eating: Pork Chop
Although chicken has a rep for being the leanest meat of choice, only the skinless breasts are healthier. If you choose a lean cut of pork (loin or a trimmed chop), you’ll get about 100kcal and 2g of fat per 85g serving. The same portion of chicken thighs weighs in at 177kcal and 9g of fat! The amount of protein is almost equal too.
French Fries OR Mashed Potatoes OR Coleslaw
You Should Be Eating: Mashed Potatoes
The mash wins because while it has a larger dose of sodium (49mg and 114mg more than slaw and fries respectively), it’s the lowest in calories and fats. Each 100g serving of mashed potatoes contains 113kcal and 4.22g fat (coleslaw has 144kcal and 6.2g fat, while French fries have 298kcal and 16.8g fat). Ask for gravy on the side so you control the amount of grease that goes into the mash.
French Toast OR Pancakes
You Should Be Eating: French Toast
A single slice of French toast has about 150kcal and 7g fat, while a six-inch pancake packs 175kcal and the same amount of fat. The egg coating on the French toast adds protein and adds more flavour and moisture than a pancake, so you’re less likely to drench the bread in syrup (that’s 100kcal for two tablespoons!)
(Also read: Hawker Foods That Are Good For You)