Health conscious people already have a hard time looking for healthier food options despite the wide variety of foods and dishes available in the market. The struggle can be a bit harder for Muslims who need to look for halal certified ingredients in the market or halal certified restaurants. They already have a restriction in their religion and the need for healthier choices makes it more difficult. However, with the countless number of restaurants on the streets today, perhaps finding an HK cafe in Singapore that caters to both health conscious and halal certified is no longer that hard.
Most people have the misconception that halal diet is a healthy diet because of the lack of pork and pork products, and that halal diet is the same as a vegetarian diet. The thing is, although some food options may be similar, not all Muslims are vegetarian and not all vegetarian food varieties are halal certified.
These restrictions and limitations should not be a hindrance in finding or preparing delicious dishes for you, your family and friends. Here is a list of healthier food choices that are halal certified.
Choose Chapatti Over Rice
The Muslim diet is known for their staples which are rice and chapatti. Rice is a very good source of energy, however, it has a high glycemic index which can unknowingly increase you blood sugar and can lead to diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It can also cause unwanted increase in weight or obesity. Chapatti, on the other hand, is made up of whole grains and whole wheat flour, both of which are filled with nutrients, minerals and vitamins and are high in fiber. Unlike rice, chapatti has a low glycemic index but still gives you the energy you need. Whole grains are linked to better insulin sensitivity which in turn causes better control in your glycemic index and reduced risk for cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
If You Cannot Give Up Rice, Go With Brown Rice
As mentioned above, rice is a staple food in the Muslim diet. Therefore, it can be hard to resist including it in your diet. If you cannot ultimately avoid eating rice, choose brown rice over the white rice. There is no distinct difference in taste but the health effects of the two rice varieties differ significantly.
Brown rice, unlike the white one, has lower glycemic index and will not cause a sudden increase in blood sugar when eaten. It is a good source of energy and will make you feel full longer.
Do Not Forget The Vegetables
Vegetables are good sources of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Beans are usually included in Muslim food options because these are high in protein and are the perfect pair for your brown rice.
Abundance Of Spices In Foods Or Dishes
It is no secret that the Muslim diet is abundant with spices, specifically curry. Curry contains turmeric which is believed to have antioxidants that decreases one’s risk for cardiovascular diseases, cancer and joint diseases such as arthritis.
Spicy foods are also popular in the Muslim food culture. The component capsaicin found in chili peppers are very effective in increasing your metabolic activity and decreases your appetite, both of which are incredibly useful if you are an unhealthy ‘snacker’.
If You Can Avoid Meat, Choose Seafood
Seafoods are said to be the best heart food because of the component called Omega-3, a fatty acid that is very beneficial to a healthy heart. Not only that, seafoods are packed with nutrients such as protein that is also found in meat products. But compared to meat, seafood have lesser harmful fats.
Aside from its benefit to the heart, it is also beneficial to your eyesight, skin health, brain power and immunity.
If You Can’t Avoid Meat, Goat Meat Is The Best
If you think chicken breast is the healthiest food option among the halal certified meat choices, then you have been misled. Goat meat is the leanest protein among the listed halal foods, despite being a red meat. It also has lower calories and cholesterol as compared to chicken and turkey. Goat meat is also believed to be ‘clean’ because it is not factory farmed as compared to cows and chickens.
These options can definitely be found an HK cafe in Singapore that serves halal food.