Living in a multicultural food paradise where there's no shortage of eating options at any time in the day, makes it difficult to entirely avoid unhealthy, but delicious, desserts.
While giving in to these delectable treats give you instant gratification, eating them on a regular basis increases your risk of getting diabetes in the longer term.
Not to fret. In line with Singapore's ongoing war against diabetes, and an increasingly knowledgeable and health conscious population, healthier dessert options are being made available to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The next time you crave a dessert, opt for healthier options which will both please your taste buds and keep your sugar intake in check!
#1 Herbal jelly
Commonly known as Gui Ling Gao, herbal jelly is actually a traditional Chinese medicine made from more than 15 natural herbs.
This dessert is often marketed as offering numerous health benefits including reducing "heatiness" in the body and enhancing your complexion. The cooling nature of this dessert also makes it a popular choice for Singaporeans to beat the heat.
With a hint of a mild bitter aftertaste, it is common for people to add sugar syrup to enhance the taste. You can easily avoid adding sugar syrup by swapping it out with healthier options such as fruits, fruit juices, natural honey or soymilk.
Potential benefits: Detoxification, prevents indigestion, lowers blood pressure
#2 Ginkgo barley beancurd dessert
The ginkgo barley beancurd dessert is a typical dish served during Chinese family gatherings. With ingredients such as dried beancurd skin, barley, and ginkgo nuts, the soupy dessert is packed with nutrients that nourish your body and taste great.
A rich source of dietary fibre, barley contains minerals and antioxidants which may help lower cholesterol levels and alleviate water retention in the body. Ginkgo nuts are widely-regarded for their ability to boost circulation and reduce anxiety and depression levels.
Potential benefits: lowers cholesterol levels, reduces cancer risk, improves blood circulation, lowers high blood pressure, skin rejuvenation, anti-ageing
While this is a no-brainer addition to the list as a healthy dessert, people just don't order fruits over a chocolate ice cream or mud pie cake after dinner. Think about the last time you did…
It is common knowledge that fruits are an indispensable component of a healthy and balanced diet. What better way to fulfil your daily intake of 'two servings of fruits' than having them as dessert?
High in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants, fruits are one of the best desserts, especially for the diabetics. Even though fruits can raise blood sugar levels, they contain other nutritional advantages that outweigh this, while fibre help to stabilise a sugar spike.
Those with diabetes can also look out for fruits with lower Glycaemic Index (GI) which can help to better regulate blood sugar levels. If you're looking to beat the heat, try freezing fruits to enjoy a frosty treat! Also try to choose whole fruit over fruit juice as juices do not have as much dietary fibre and vitamins which are usually found in fruit peel.
Potential benefits: lowers risks of cancer and heart diseases, boosts immune system, aids digestion, lowers cholesterol levels
Sometimes, all we need is a light and refreshing dessert after our meals. A source of protein and calcium, yogurt makes for a great choice.
However, not all yogurts are made the same. Low-fat, unsweetened Greek yogurt is the choice option when it comes to healthy yogurts. Opt for plain yogurt rather than fruit-flavoured ones as they generally contain more sugar, carbohydrates and additives. You can always flavour your plain yogurt with fresh fruit.
Potential benefits: improves digestive system, boosts immunity, promotes thyroid function, increases bone density, regulates blood pressure
Moderation is key
With the Ministry of Health (MOH) declaring war against diabetes, food vendors and manufacturers are encouraged to offer healthier options to attract an increasingly health-conscious population. This also means greater diversity of healthier food options being made available around us.
If you have diabetes, you can still indulge in sweet treats, but in very small quantities and with a conscious effort to monitor your condition as well as choosing healthier diet options and exercising regularly.
Driven by our inactive lifestyle and unhealthy diet, it is estimated that nearly one million Singaporeans will be living with diabetes by 2050. AIA Diabetes Care, specifically designed for those diagnosed with pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, empowers this segment of the population to bolster their insurance needs. This is especially pertinent as they typically face difficulties in including much-needed coverage at an especially vulnerable time.
Living healthier, longer, better lives
Prevention is better than cure or even a helping hand during a challenging time in your life. The primary motivation to leading healthier, longer, better lives is mainly to spend quality time with your loved ones, caring for your dependents or doing the things you enjoy most. Whatever your why may be, AIA can help with the how.
While choice of desserts is a part of eating right, we can all go a step further to receive rewards while making our own healthy desserts. AIA Vitality is a holistic wellness programme specially designed to motivate you to make small, yet significant steps towards living healthier. Under the programme, you enjoy up to 20% cashback when you purchase HealthyFoodTM at Cold Storage.