Symbol Of Health

Shopping in the supermarket can be quite the adventure. After all, there are so many choices that it becomes a “choice overload”. This eventually leads to decision fatigue, which explains why impulsive buys such as candy bars at the counter can be so hard to resist.

Luckily for the frazzled consumer, there are ways to discern if a certain food product is the healthier choice over other options. The Health Promotion Board came up with a series of Healthier Choice Symbols to qualify about 2600 different food products from over 60 food categories such as beverages and breakfast cereals so you can rest easy and eat healthier!

Here are the 6 nutrient-specific Healthier Choice logos to look out for:

While it’s worth noting that food products with the aforementioned Healthier Choice Symbols are healthier than others in similar food groups, excessive consumption can still cause weight gain so be sure to eat in moderation!

Fill half the plate with fruits and vegetables

  • Rich in dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals
  • Help to lower the risk of developing heart diseases and some types of cancer
  • Avoid preparing with sugar syrup or too much oil as this makes it more likely to consume too many calories and gain weight.
  • Cut back on the salt as well, because excessive sodium intake is a major risk factor for stroke and kidney disease.
  • Daily recommended intake of salt should be about 5 grams of salt or 2000 mg of sodium (1 teaspoonful)

  • Fill a quarter of the plate with whole-grains.

  • Rich in Vitamins B and E, iron, zinc, magnesium, lignans, phytosterols, and inulin (dietary fibre)
  • Reduces the risk of developing diabetes, heart diseases, and helps to manage weight because you get hungry less easily
  • Refined grains such as white rice have lost the valuable nutrients that whole-grains have due to the processing they went through

  • Fill a quarter of the plate with meat and others.

  • Rich in protein, which helps to build and repair body tissues
  • Sources include poultry, meat (pork, beef etc.), nuts, eggs, seafood, bean products, and dairy products
  • Oily fish and bean products like tofu provide healthier forms of protein, in fact it’s recommended that you take at least 2 servings of fish a week
  • Reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease if consumed in the right amounts
  • Calcium-rich food should also be part of your diet. Include options like milk, yoghurt, cheese, sardine, and calcium-fortified soymilk.
  • Avoid full-fat dairy products and go for low-fat or non-fat options instead.

  • Use healthier oils.

  • Use healthier options like canola, olive, sunflower, peanut, and soy oil because they contain more healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can reduce the risk of developing heart disease
  • Regardless, they should be consumed in moderate amounts.

  • Choose water.

  • Sugar-laden drinks may lead to weight gain.
  • This includes adding white sugar, brown sugar, honey, rock sugar, or other types of sugar to your beverage.
  • Daily recommended sugar intake should be limited to 11 teaspoons
  • Always pick the healthier options or beverages with less sugar

  • Be active.

  • Physical activity is an important part of keeping healthy.
  • Adults are encouraged to do at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
  • This includes daily activities such as doing household chores, strength training like yoga, and other activities such as swimming, and brisk walking.

  • On top of the recommendations laid out so far, you are also encouraged to limit your alcohol intake each day. A healthy adult male shouldn’t have more than 2 standard drinks a day while women are to have only 1 standard drink. A standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol, so this means:

  • A can of regular beer with 5% alcohol content (330ml)
  • A half glass of wine with 15% alcohol content (175ml)
  • A shot of spirits with 40% alcohol content (35ml)

  • It might sound like a lot of work to keep up with My Healthy Plate on a daily basis, but with the Healthier Choice symbols, maintaining a healthier lifestyle is now a breeze so keep a look out for them!