Healthy Eating At A Mamak. Is It Even Possible?
Updated: Mar 6, 2019
The mamak is probably the best place to have a meal when you want something cheap, fast - plus it’s always open. But the meals aren’t exactly the healthiest if you’re going on a diet. Some days, your colleagues are going to that famous nasi kandar place for lunch but you don't want to feel left out because you're watching your diet or simply because, you have a fear of missing out?
We are no nutritionists or dieticians but here are few tips and tricks you could keep in mind at your next mamak visit:
1. Protein is Power
To keep yourself full for long, opt for meat instead of rice. But not all meat is considered healthy especially fried chicken and the yummy curries.
Source: Fried Chillies (Uncle Aru’s Chicken Tandoori)
Tandoori chicken is the healthiest option because it’s packed with good protein, less oil is used and it's cooked in a tandoor which is basically pretty much like an oven. Plus, it’s super tasty because of the marinated spices and the char-grilled flavour! Pretty much like the mamak version of Nando's if you ask me.
Tip: If you’re thinking of completely cutting out carbs, order a plate of tandoori chicken, some vegetables and fried/soft boiled/hard-boiled eggs.
2. No carbs? But how?
We understand that cutting out carbs entirely could be a tad bit difficult for us Malaysians. After all, you can’t take away our rice from us.
Source: The Hive Asia
For the rice lovers, you could cut down half (or cut as much as you can) of your rice intake when you’re having your favourite nasi kandar and load up on lots of veges and protein (like Tandoori chicken) instead! You’ll definitely feel fuller and might not have a horrible food coma after.
Just remember to stay away from all the goreng-goreng like fried mee, fried kuey teow and Maggi goreng. These are packed with lots of calories!
Tip: If you're craving for roti, order chapati or thosai instead. It has fewer calories, higher in fibre and lower in fat because less oil is being used.
3. Kurang Manis, please.
Source: Murni Discovery
This tip is pretty much a no brainer when it comes to ordering mamak drinks because they are generally very sweet. And as much as we love our teh tarik, it’s also best to stay away from drinks that include condensed or evaporated milk too on some days.
Here’s a list of drinks you could swap with:
1. Teh O’ Kosong instead of Teh Ais
2. Kopi O’ Kosong instead of regular coffee or Cham O’
3. Limau Ais (less sugar or none at all)
4. Teh O’ Limau Ais (less sugar or none at all)
5. Teh Halia O’ (this drink is great when you’re not feeling too well and when served hot)
6. Barley (less sugar or none at all)
However, if you really can’t resist on having a cup of teh tarik, just remember to have it made less sweet.
Bottom line is, it’s all about the baby steps we take to have a healthier lifestyle. It definitely doesn’t take overnight to get used to these tips. You will get tempted when your friend or colleague orders a plate of Maggi goreng during your lunch break. If you want a bite, just do it. Just remember, to stay in control!