It’s not a secret that we love our food. And when I say love, I mean adore. It’s rare to hear an Asian saying that they only eat to put something in their stomachs because to us, food is all-encompassing. It gives us joy, pleasure, satisfaction and adds so much pleasure to all our senses. We travel miles just to get our hands on that highly coveted dish recommended by some popular food blogger, calories be damned!
But for all the eating and snacking, Asians are still generally a pretty healthy bunch. I have had friends from other parts of the world who have commended Asian ladies on their svelte figures, and were also surprised that they are able to maintain such figures with the kind of local food we consume on a daily basis. And it’s always the same answer from me – Consumption in moderation. As much as we love our Char Kway Teow, Laksa and Nasi Lemak, most of us are careful about not overindulging. The occasional satisfaction is definitely okay but having such foods for every meal daily can not only cause our weight to go on overdrive but also our health to go down the drain.
But when push comes to shove (also known as when we have no choice but to eat a lot), there is always the option of asking for less of the seasoning evils like salt, oil and preservatives. It is well-known that in many Asian dishes, MSG is used generously which is not such a healthy thing. However, with the health awareness movement in the years that have passed, those who have a craving for their favourite local dishes can request the stall to hold preservatives and add lesser salt and oil. Some stalls are also willing to add more vegetables to your dish if you ask for it which is pretty awesome.
Link: Calculate your BMI here
And let’s not forget about exercising to keep our body and body processes in tip top shape. While the need to eat is strong with many Asians, and sometimes we consume a little too much, we also need to be wary of the condition of our bodies after it all. For those who think they can continuously indulge with nary a care because they stay slim no matter what, this applies to you too. I have met naturally skinny people who are never seen without food who suffer from high cholesterol and fatty liver. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Our bodies all work in the same way actually, storing and disposing of waste material and burning off of fat. It really doesn’t matter if you were born skinny or put on weight easily.
It’s perfectly alright to eat and satisfy those cravings now and then. As long as we are maintaining a good exercise regime and healthy eating habits, you may proceed to eat away!