Health Myths Debunked

  I don’t claim to be a health specialist, nor a doctor, nutritionist, or even one of the healthiest people around. However, due to the nature of my work, and having had a bit of a health scare before, I’ve embarked on a journey of trying to be a healthier person, who eats better, exercises more, and tries to educate herself on these topics. Through my research I’ve found that there is a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to health (hello TikTok pretending that lemon water cures all ailments). So, I thought I would debunk a few of these myths.

Myth: You Should Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day

While drinking water is of course in no ways bad, as it helps with hydrating your body, prevents gallstones and is good for your skin, the idea of drinking 8 glasses a day is not scientifically supported. If you think about it logically, we don’t just get water and hydration from drinking plain water. Many fruits, vegetables and of course other drinks provide our bodies with the hydration it needs. So how do we know how much water to drink? Well, every individual is different, so simply drinking water when you feel thirsty is sufficient.

Myth: MSG Causes Cancer

This myth is actually fraught with racist stereotypes. Known as ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’, many people reported feeling sluggish and unwell after eating food that contained MSG, and the public were led to believe that this ingredient was unhealthy, higher in sodium than normal salt, and even contained carcinogens. Research has found that the vast majority of people, even those claiming a sensitivity to MSG, don’t have any reaction when they don’t know they are eating it. Essentially, this myth was created out of people’s fear of ‘exotic food’. In actuality, unlike regular table salt, which is 40% sodium, MSG contains only 12% sodium, and is safe to eat- free from carcinogens.

Myth: Microwaves Zap Nutrients Out of Food

Another myth that has no scientific backing, many people believe that cooking with microwaves is a bad cooking method. While cooking microwavable TV dinners, I agree, has little to no nutritional value, using your microwave to heat up leftovers, or even steaming veggies, does not decrease the nutritional value. In fact, microwave cooking is actually a better way to retain vitamins and minerals as compared to other cooking methods, due to the fact that lesser nutrients are lost from shorter heat exposure, and the minimal amount of liquid needed for microwaving food simply stops nutrients from leaking out.

Myth: Diet Pills Don’t Make You Lose Weight

There are a lot of miracle products on the market. I admit that most don’t work, but unfortunately, many work so well, that they have lasting consequences. These fat burning pills can decrease your appetite, or speed up your metabolism, causing you to lose weight. The problem is that once you stop, all the weight will go back on, or even worse, you can end up heavier than when you started. This leads to a dependency on these products, and can cause nasty side effects, such as rapid heart rate and higher blood pressure. It’s best to just avoid these pills as a whole.

A funny thing to note is even these ‘natural’ pills have horrid side effects. I used to frequently take Sena tablets to help control my weight, but as soon as I stopped taking them, I had constant constipation and abdominal pain, to the point where it was difficult to move comfortably.

Myth: Drinking Through a Straw Stops Food Staining Your Teeth

Regrettably, drinking coffee through a straw doesn’t prevent coffee from staining your teeth. The only thing that will stop staining is not having a prolonged contact with coloured food, rinsing your mouth frequently and not drinking an excessive amount of tea and coffee.

There are so many more myths I stumbled upon, but that’s for another article! What are some health myths you’ve debunked?

Best Hawkers For Expats…Part Two!

It’s back! Another list of hawkers that expats might not know about, but should! I got a bit of backlash from my first post so, just to reiterate…this is not a list containing all the well-known expat locations like Newton or Lau Pa Sat; I am not writing about these because a) everyone already knows about them b) I sometimes think they’re a bit overpriced.

If you’ve tried my previous list and are looking for more suggestions then please read on!

Old Airport Road

Must Try: Curry Chicken Noodles

To be honest, I don’t know why this wasn’t in my first list. Old Airport Road is great; it has such a wide selection and it is huge- there’s something for everyone. The chicken rice there is great, the curry chicken noodles are delicious and there is an abundance of beer, what more could you ask for!

Chom Chom

Must Try: Stingray, Carrot Cake

This made the honourable mentions list last time but I went back recently and tried pretty much everything there! The food there is very reasonably priced and it is your one-stop-shop for all Singaporean food. The feast I had contained satay, chicken wings, black and white carrot cake, stingray, rice and kangkong. Can I just say that the portions are huge so be careful when ordering! I definitely over-ordered!

Seah Im Food Centre

Must Try: Boat Noodles

This hawker centre is a short walk away from Vivocity. It’s incredibly underrated and is great after a long day at Sentosa. During the day a lot more stalls are open than at night, but no matter what time of day you go I would highly recommend the Thai stall that sells beef boat noodle soup; it’s spicy, flavourful, comes with or without beef stomach (I personally like it with) and you get a good bowl for a cheap price! There are many stalls to choose from, so if you’re not particularly in the mood for Thai you can always grab something else.

Golden Mile Tower

Must Try: Leng Saap

Speaking of Thai food, next to the very famous Golden Mile Complex is Golden Mile Tower. In the basement there is lots of great food, notably leng saap, or pork spine soup. This soup is not for the faint of heart; imagine a vast bowl filled with spicy coriander soup, and protruding out the top, massive pork spines where the meat falls off the bone. You can choose your size and spiciness level, and the soup is usually refillable. The meat that comes off the pork spine is so juicy and tender, it’s making my mouth water just typing about it!

Eunos Crescent Market and Food Centre

Must Try: Yong Tau Foo, Indian Rojak

Right next to Eunos MRT Station, this hawker is packed full of choices. It may seem small, but each stall as something different. I also think that, because it’s not very well known by expats, it tends to be more reasonably priced. The satay here is great, and you can get hand pulled noodles at the ban mien stall. Behind the first set of hawkers is another, mostly specialising in Chinese and Hong Kong cuisine. Here I recommend relaxing with a beer and trying the Mala Xiang Guo. When I don’t know what to eat, my go-to is either the Indian rojak stall, or the Yong Tau Foo with laksa gravy.

So there you have it, another 5 great places to eat around Singapore. I hope this list has got your mouth watering enough to go and try all my latest top picks! Which hawker is your favourite?

Best Hawkers For Expats!

  When the conversation of coffee shops come up around expats come up, Newton is ALWAYS mentioned. It’s the one in Crazy Rich Asians, it’s the one where people try sting ray for the first time, but it’s pretty touristy and they jack the prices up. So, I’ve come up with a list of my favourite hawkers across Singapore, and what my favourite food is from those places.

Maxwell

Best Things To Eat: Chicken Rice, Shanghai Dumplings

  This is my favourite hawker in the whole of Singapore; the food is so delicious and very reasonably priced. My top picks for food would be the chicken rice; there’s a lot of famous chicken rice stalls at Maxwell and they’re all so tasty. But my absolute top pick for food here is the Shanghai dumplings; they’re incredibly juicy and soft. And, the beer is cheap!

Bedok Food Centre

Best Things To Eat: Mala Xiang Guo

  I don’t know why people don’t talk more about this hawker- it’s MASSIVE and there are so many amazing and delicious things to try here. It gets very busy on the weekends to make sure to bring some tissues to chope your table! The mala xiang guo is very fresh and yummy and incredibly reasonably priced; I often find mala to be quite expensive if you’re eating for 1, but this only costs $5!

East Coast Park

Best Things To Eat: Satay

 Of course I was going to put this on the list- there are so many fantastic foods to try. I love the stingray, the carrot cake, the fried rice but especially the satay. People say that Lau Pa Sat has the best satay but I disagree- East Coast Park takes the gold. What’s more, the beer is the best here- so cheap!

Yishun Park Hawker Centre

Best Things To Eat: Mee Jiang Kuah

 This is my favourite hawker in the north. It’s near where I used to live so during circuit breaker I would go there once a week just to treat myself and get myself out the house. I would highly recommend the mee jiang kuah; these fluffy pancakes come in many different flavours. I like the charcoal and peanut butter ones.

Satay By The Bay

Best Things To Eat: BBQ Sting Ray and Kang Kong

Even though the satay here is very popular I would also recommend their tze char, especially their stingray and kang kong. This hawker is a great place to go after a cycle around the Marina Bay area. It feels so rewarding chomping down on delicious food after a long day exercising!

Honourable Mentions: Nasi Lemak at Boon Lay Food Centre; Curry Fish Head at Zion; Hokkien Mee at Chom Chom

What are some of your favourite local Singapore delights?