Buying the Best Protein-Packed Yoghurt in Singapore

girlygetsfit supermarket yoghurt

girlygetsfit supermarket yoghurtYoghurt is a highly nutritious food that is rich in protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12. It also contains a lot of healthy live bacteria culture (just like Yakult) that is good for the stomach. Protein helps promotes satiation, which means that you are less likely to reach out for another snack since you feel already feel full. Yoghurt is also said to have many health benefits, including the promotion of fat loss, and strengthening of the immune system. Best thing is, there are so many easy ways to eat this healthy food: as a snack, as a dip, or added in smoothies.

Before you head out for the nearest Frozen Yoghurt (or Froyo) joint for your snack fix, note that the health benefit of yoghurts are maximum when taken natural. Sugar-laden yoghurts may be delicious, but they counteract many of the positive effects of taking yoghurt.

Regular vs Greek Yoghurt

Regular yoghurt and greek yoghurt are both  healthy additions to any diet given the amount of nutrition and vitamins it packs. Greek yoghurt is processed differently from regular yoghurts – it is strained many times to reach its thick and creamy consistency. I imagine it as a more concentrated version of the regular yoghurt. Due to this process, greek yoghurt contains twice the amount of protein as compared to regular yoghurt. It also less likely to upset the lactose intolerant since its straining process removes some of the lactose.  Greek yoghurt is also ideal for low-carb dieters since it contains half the amount of carbohydrates as its regular yoghurt counterpart.

When I got to the supermarket counters, I was immediately greeted by so many yoghurts touting the words ‘greek’ which got me really excited! Which do I choose?!

girlygetsfit greekstyle yoghurt girlygetsfit total 0 yoghurt

Discovering Fage

Faced with so many brand to choose from, I decided to narrow down my search using the cost perspective. I noticed  that most of the yoghurts costed around the same, with the exception of one – Fage 0. This wordy, plain and small tub seem to cost four times more than the other yoghurts. It contains half the amount of yoghurt (each container weighs 500g) as compared to its greek counterparts, yet it costs twice as much (Fage 0 costs around $12 while other greek yoghurts cost around $6)! Out of curiosity, I decided to consult its nutritional profile. Fage yoghurt contains 10g of protein per serving (57 kCal), while other greek yoghurts contained around 4-6g protein of protein per serving. Fage yoghurt fits the nutrient profile of greek yoghurt while the other greek-style yoghurts had profiles looking more like regular yoghurts.

Greek Yoghurt and Greek-style Yoghurt are not the same!

With only Fage as a comparison, I had to go online to find out whether greek and greek-style yoghurt were really different. Apparently, the difference in greek yoghurt and greek-style yoghurt also lies in the difference in the way it was processed. As explained earlier, greek yoghurt is strained until it reaches that rich and thick consistency. On the other hand, greek-style yoghurt tries to mimic this consistency by adding thickening agents such as cream, gelatine, gum blends. In summary, greek yoghurt is the real deal -packing more nutrient in less weight, while greek-style yoghurt is just artificially bulked up.

girlygetsfit jalna greek yoghourt

girlygetsfit jalna greek yoghourt

Also, check the nutrition label before purchasing!

I recently spotted Greek Yoghurt by Jalna at Jones the Grocer. I was really excited to try a different type of  ‘Greek Yoghurt’, but a quick check of the nutritional profile indicated that it was not what I was looking for: it contains more carbohydrates than protein. It is really interesting to note that even though it is 97% fat free, it contains much more calories and carbohydrates than Fage 0. It is likely that in order to reduce the fat, starches, gums and even gelatine were added to improve the texture. This resulted in the increase of sugar content in the yoghurt.

Where to find Greek Yoghurt in Singapore?

Fage yoghurt is stocked in Cold Storage and Jones the Grocer, and it comes in 0 or 2% fat. I have yet to come across any other Greek Yoghurts or yoghurts with similar nutrition profile.

I like to eat my yoghurt as a snack. Being fuss-free, I like to mix 1.5 serving of Fage yoghurt mixed with one-third scoop of chocolate protein powder. I find that this proportion tastes really refreshing, yet not too overly sweet. It’s a fantastic dessert since it satisfies my sweet tooth, and is packed full with nutrients.

Is Yoghurt already part of your diet? Which is your favourite brand of yoghurt?

How do I fit Chicken Rice in my clean diet?

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Chicken rice is undisputedly the national dish of Singapore given its popularity with locals and tourists alike. It is a common and inexpensive dish found in many hawker centres and food courts, although it’s occasionally served in restaurants boasting local cuisines as well.

And yessss, I look forward to a yummy plate of chicken rice at least once a week. Chicken rice?! How does it fit in my diet? Well, chicken is a great source of protein, although this dish in its typical form contains a lot of fat. According to the nutrient profile I grabbed off the Health Promotion Board, a plate of chicken rice with roasted chicken contains 607 Cal, 25g of Protein, 75g Carbs, and 23g of Fat. That’s a lot of carbs and fats in one serving. Oops, not so clean after all!

This dish typically consist of a portion chicken (roasted or poached) liberally doused with sesame oil, and sitting atop savory and fragrant ‘oily’ rice. It is usually served with tangy chilli sauce, ginger sauce, and a dark soy sauce that is a tad sweet. Customers can also order extra items such as hard-boiled eggs and chicken gizzards.

So how on earth do I fit it in my diet? I make some simple modifications to the meal.

First, I would choose breast meat over other cuts of meat. Although undifferentiated in the HPB nutrient profile, ordering different parts of the chicken actually yield different calorie content. A chicken contains both dark and white meats. Dark meats are generally found in the leg and back regions, while the white meat is found in the chest area. Dark meats contain 2.64 times more saturated fat than white meat. So choosing cuts like the breast meat would be less calorie-laden than thigh meat.

Second, I remove the skin off the chicken before eating in order to lessen the calorie and fat content of the meal. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, the caloric difference between a skinless chicken and a chicken with skin on is about 30-50 cal! That may not seem like a lot, but it adds up rather quickly so I try to not to.

Third, I would ask for a smaller serving of rice. I would typically eat about a fist-size of rice per carb-meal, which roughly translates to about 22-27g of carbs, depending on the type of rice I eat. As you can see from the HPB nutrient profile, Chicken Rice hawkers would serve more than twice the amount of carbs I would like to have per meal. If I want to further reduce the overall fat content of my meal, I would replace the fragrant ‘oily’ rice with white rice. It is a great option when I need a quick and cheap meal, yet reduce the fat.

Using these simple modifications, I can usually order twice the amount of chicken, getting in more protein while staying within my calorie budget. I would normally order two portions of chicken breast meat with lesser white rice (or fragrant rice, depending on the hawker and my mood). I estimate this meal to come to about 450 Cal, 50g Protein, 26g Carb, 16g Fat.

Too Long; Didn’t Read?
From 607 Cal, I turned it into a 450 Cal meal with more protein by:
(1) Choosing breast meat
(2) Eating the meat without the skin (or at least sparingly if I cannot resist)
(3) Asking for less rice (or even better, switching it up to white rice)

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In case you were wondering, the photo of the chicken rice was taken at the Sin Kee Chicken Rice Stall located at Mei Ling Street Market & Food Centre (Address: Blk 159, Mei Ling Street, S140159). This corner stall is pretty big, occupying the space of two stalls, and they have a constant queue during lunch hour. Other than chicken rice, I noticed that they serve several ‘xiao cai’ (side dishes) as well. Most customers ordered ‘San Yu’ (raw fish with a dash of lime) and some stir-fried vegetables. I only eaten the chicken rice there so far because I love the substantial amount of meat I can get in for a $8.50 meal (refer to the first photo above!).

Also, get your boost of vitamin c from the lime juice sold at the drinks store just beside chicken rice store. I was pretty amazed by how generous they are with the limes!