7 worst breakfast foods in Singapore

Written by Sonia Pasupathy

You might be a bit broken-hearted when you find out that your favourite breakfast foods are not so good for you after all. But we are sure your body will thank you later if you cut down on these not-so-good-for-you morning delicacies!

Who doesn’t love a good roti prata in the morning? From its delicious, crisp exterior, its soft, buttery interior to the spice-scented air as you enter the kopitiam? Unfortunately, it really does nothing for your figure. A single roti prata with a bowl of curry packs close to 500 calories with a whopping 895mg of sodium. As a healthy adult woman, your daily sodium intake caps at about 2300mg. By having a breakfast that’s high in sodium, you have already gone through close to 40% of your daily intake. Long- term effects of excessive sodium could lead to edema, a condition where the body retains fluids, as well as high blood pressure.

Another sumptuous local delight, fried carrot cake with dark sauce and an egg thrown in, is a popular Singaporean breakfast choice. Carbohydrate dominant and lacking a good serving of vegetables, fried carrot cake, like most foods high in carbohydrates, causes your blood sugar levels to spike before crashing, leaving you feeling sluggish and lethargic (not something you want first thing in the morning). Here’s a secret though. For all you carrot cake addicts who just can’t stay away from it, opt for the white version of this dish. It contains about 100 calories and 26g of carbohydrates less than its darker counterpart!

We’re all familiar with the thick yellow noodles drowning in sweet gravy accompanied by a fried egg. We regret to inform you that this too is on our list of the 7 worst breakfast foods. It contains 550 calories and more than 2000mg of sodium. Additionally, the egg noodles have a higher glycaemic index (GI) as compared to noodles such as rice vermicelli. Foods with a higher GI cause the spike and crash in one’s blood sugar levels. Opting for food with a lower GI means that the sugars in the food are gradually released into the bloodstream. This keeps you fuller for longer (and your waistline trimmer in the long-run!).

You’ve got your noodles for carbs, luncheon meat for protein and eggs which are good for your metabolism - this seems like a pretty balanced diet, yes? We hate to break it to you but it really is the exact opposite. The rice vermicelli itself, as mentioned earlier, is one of your better options when going for noodles. With its low GI it keeps you fuller for longer. The culprit here is the luncheon meat. Like other processed meats, it’s loaded with salt and preservatives. In total, this dish has almost 1000 calories (yikes!). It’s bound to completely throw you off your recommended 2000 calorie intake for the day.

Too many muffins for breakfast can actually cause the ever-dreaded muffin-top. They are not the healthiest of foods especially for a meal as important as breakfast. Muffins are packed quite densely with a whole lot of sugar, butter and flour. Yes, even bran muffins. The amount of sugar in a muffin (roughly 9 teaspoons) overrides any health benefits of bran. Also 9 teaspoons of sugar is about 3 teaspoons too many for the advised intake for women. So the next time a muffin beckons you, walk away - fast!

They have pictures of smiling, lean-looking men and women on the box so it has to be good for you, right? Wrong. Many of these granola and cereal bars have the same sugar and fat content as candy bars. With the likes of chocolate chips and sugar-coatings included in them, you may as well be eating a full-fledged bar of chocolate. Once again, breakfast foods like these will cause a spike and crash of your blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling tired and listless. Make sure you read the nutritional labels before buying granola bars. Check the sugar and fat content - we think you might be a tad horrified!

Who can resist a good old plate of sausages, eggs and toast? You won't want to eat this old favourite ever again once you hear exactly what's in your sausages. Sausages and processed meats contain chemicals called nitrites, which once ingested may be converted into cancer-causing compounds. Despite occurring naturally in red meat, extra nitrates are added when meat is processed, meaning you are consuming an unnecessarily high amount of it. To make matters worse, a lot of salt and fats are added to the meat in your sausages. A definite no-no for breakfast for the health-conscious.

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