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This Newsletter aims to promote communication between schools and the Student Health Service of the Department of Health

March 2013 Issue No.58

Published by the Student Health Service, Department of Health


Editiorial

Design a Healthy Recipe

Nowadays, people live a resourceful and high technology life style. They eat a lot but perform little or no exercise. This kind of lifestyle gives rise to some modern day diseases e.g. Diabetes Mellitus, hypertension or heart diseases.

Chinese people believe ‘Habits are developed at age of three’. Knowing that most of the habits were established when young, Student Health Service has designed some healthy recipes demonstrated by lovely cartoon characters. The recipes can be found and downloaded at our website.

You can find the key for preparing healthy food and how to store food properly in this edition of the Newsletter. How to live healthily? We have to eat healthily. How to eat healthily? Lets’ start from our healthy recipes.


How to design Healthy recipe

Student Health Service Dietitians Miss IP Yan-ki Joyce Mr CHUI Tung-kin

Introduction

A “ Balanced diet” is to follow the principle of Food pyramid i.e. eat a variety of food and in appropriate proportions. Balanced diet is very important to students. It helps to provide different nutrients e.g. carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals, to maintain the growth of body tissue, increase the immunity and achieve a desirable body weight.

Most foods available in restaurants and fast food shops could be of high energy and high fat but relatively low in dietary fiber. It might affect our body health if we eat these types of food in long term. If time allows, why not try doing one or two healthy dishes for your family and try them at home. This not only can increase our interest in cookery but also reduce eating the ‘3 high food’ (high fat, high sugar and high sodium) at restaurants.

To design a healthy dish, the following aspects such as: food ingredients, seasonings, cooking methods should be explored.


Food ingredients selection

The first step is to choose ‘3 Low and 1 High’ (i.e. low fat, low sugar, low sodium and high fiber) ingredients. We should put more effort to modify “relatively unhealthy ingredients” to “relatively healthy ingredients” (Figure 1). Together with a low oil cooking method, we can make a nutritious and healthy dish.

Data revealed that colon cancer had become the number two cancer killer in Hong Kong. Adequate dietary fiber intake can help prevent colon cancer. It is well-known that vegetables are a main source of dietary fiber. Apart from green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, squashes and gourds (e.g. cucumbers), tomatoes, eggplants are also members of vegetables. When buying vegetables, we should avoid the preserved vegetables such as preserved turnip, pickled cabbage because their salt (sodium) content is high. Excessive sodium consumption increases the chance of hypertension which in turn affects the health of blood vessels.

Recently it became popular to add fruits as ingredients in recipes to increase their fiber content. Try to choose fresh fruits when we buy fruits. It is because most of the canned fruits are soaked in syrup. The sugar content is relatively high.

Cereals such as rice, bread and noodles are rich in starch. They mainly provide body with energy to meet the daily requirement. Some of the cereals are high fiber food (e.g. wheat bread, red/brown rice, wholemeal biscuits). Consider choosing more high fiber cereals when purchasing them.

We should choose lean portion when buying meat. There is not much difference between fresh meat and frozen meat in their nutritional values. Since processed meat such as sausage, luncheon meat is high in sodium and fat, it should be avoided.In order to extend the shelf-life, “nitrite” might be added to the processed meat as a preservative to reduce the bacterial growth. It seems probable that meat containing “nitrite” will release a carcinogen (nitrosamine) under a high temperature cooking. Long term consumption could increase the risk of cancer.

In order to reduce the intake of saturated fat, it is good to choose skim/low fat dairy products. Dairy products are rich in calcium. Calcium is important to the growth of students, which helps by strengthening their teeth and bones. Compared with milk, the calcium content of common soymilk is relatively low and some may have sugar added. Therefore, we should choose calcium added and low sugar soymilk to reduce the intake of sugar.

Figure 1 Examples of Healthy food ingredients

Ingredients

Change to

Total fat

Saturated fat

Sugar

Sodium

Fiber

Calcium

Pork(50% lean)/ Pork(belly)/ Pork(rib)/ Pork(feet)

Lean pork

Decrease

Decrease

       

Burger/Pork patty (50% lean)

Lean pork(minced) / lean beef+oatmeal/ corn/ mixed vegetables / water chestnuts/ mushrooms

Decrease

Decrease

 

Decrease

Increase

 

Fatty beef/ beef(belly)

Lean beef/ostrich

Decrease

Decrease

       

Check with skin

Chicken without skin

Decrease

Decrease

       

Deep fried tofu/ deep fried bean curd sheet (stick)

Firm tofu/ soybean milk film/ vegetarian chicken

Decrease

Decrease

       

Sausage/ luncheon meat/ bacon

Fresh lean pork

Decrease

Decrease

 

Decrease

   

Canned tuna in oil

Canned tuna in water

Decrease

Decrease

       

White rice

White rice+brown rice/ red rice/ corn /mixed vegetables/ red beans

       

Increase

 

Evaporated milk(whole)/ evaporated filled milk/ whole milk

Low fat/milk/ skim milk

Decrease

Decrease

       

Cheese (whole milk)

Cheese (low fat)

Decrease

Decrease

       

Cream cheese

Cream cheese (low fat)/ cottage cheese (low fat)

Decrease

Decrease

       

Sour Cream

Plain yogurt (low fat)/ cottage cheese (low fat)+lemon juice

Decrease

Decrease

       

Soymilk

Fresh fruit e.g. strawberry, orange, kiwi, peach, pineapple etc

   

Decrease

   

Increase

Canned fruit/ jam

Fresh fruit e.g. strawberry, orange, kiwi, peach, pineapple etc

   

Decrease

 

Increase

 

Preserved vegetables e.g. preserved mustard, preserved turnip

Mushroom, onion water chestnut, mixed vegetables, bell pepper

   

Decrease

Decrease

   


Preparation prior cooking

When designing healthy recipes, apart from choosing nutritious ingredients, it is also important to pay attention to the preparation prior to cooking, so as to retain nutrients. For cooking vegetables, it is best to use the ‘First wash then chop’, ‘Cook with little water or oil’ principle to retain its vitamins. If we chop the vegetables then wash them, the vitamins will leak and dissolve in water from their cut surface. When boiling vegetables, we should use as less water as possible, and put the vegetables in only when the water is bubbling, to prevent vitamin loss. Whether we boil or stir-fry the vegetables, we should use as less time as possible to avoid them being overcooked and thereby destroy the heat-liable vitamins.

We usually use seasoning to enhance the flavour of our dishes. However, some of the seasoning could be of high fat, high sugar or high sodium. If we do not choose carefully, we may turn our dish into an unhealthy choice. Readers can refer to Figure 2 for healthy way of seasoning and choices.


Figure 2 Healthy Seasoning Choices

Seasoning

Change to

Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Sugar

Sodium

Fiber

Calcium

Salad dressing

Low-fat salad dressing

Decrease

Decrease

       

Salad dressing

Plain low-fat yoghurt

Decrease

Decrease

     

Increase

Salad dressing

Lemon/Lime juice

Decrease

Decrease

       

Curry Paste

Curry Powder

Decrease

Decrease

Decrease

Decrease

   

Chilly Paste/Chilly oil

Chilly Powder/Pepper

Decrease

Decrease

Decrease

Decrease

   

Coconut Paste/Juice

Low fat or skimmed milk+Coconut essence

Decrease

Decrease

       

Sweet and Sour Paste

Orange/Strawberry flesh+Lemon juice/white vinegar

Decrease

 

Decrease

Decrease

Increase

 

Black bean paste/Yellow bean paste

Dried orange peel/Ginger/Spring Onion/Parsley/Shiitake Mushroom

   

Decrease

Decrease

Increase

 

The above mentioned sauce/ paste

Various Herbs, e.g. Rosemary, Sage, Lemongrass

Decrease

Decrease

Decrease

Decrease

   

Ketchup

Fresh tomato (cook to puree with some water added)

   

Decrease

Decrease

Increase

 


Healthy Cooking Method

It is preferred to limit the amount of oil use when designing healthy recipes. According to the Risk Assessment Studies Report No. 28--- Nutrient Values of Fruits and Vegetables by Centre of Food Safety in 2007, using 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon oil for boiling vegetables, will increase, on average, the fat content of the vegetables by 1.2 and 3.1 times. If we stir fry the vegetables, the fat content will increase by 19.3 times. Generally speaking, cooking method including deep frying, pan frying, frying with a sauce, spicy salt, braising in oil, will increase food fat content. When designing healthy recipes, try to use blanching instead of braising in oil; use baking, roasting, grilling instead of deep frying and pan frying. Before serving, we can use kitchen tissue towel to absorb the excess oil.

In recent years, some health conscious people may choose oil with healthier composition, such as olive oil or canola oil. Some of them thought they can use as much oil as they can if they are already choosing the healthier option. This is a common myth! Actually, when using the same amount, all fat and oil provide same amount of energy. Every 1 gram of fat/ oil provides 9 Kilocalorie (Kcal). For example, 1 tablespoon (i.e.15 grams) of corn/ canola/ olive oil all provide 135 Kcal(15 X 9 Kcal). Using a 2000Kcal daily diet plan as example, the total energy intake from fat should not exceed 30%, equivalent to 60grams of fat (around 4 tablespoons / 12 teaspoons of oil). While in our daily diet, we will probably have the fat-containing meat/ fish/ egg and beans food group, therefore, we suggest limiting oil use in daily cooking to 6 teaspoons/ day (i.e. 2 teaspoons per person per meal).

Oil with healthier composition refers to their different proportion of saturated fat and unsaturated fat (including monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat). Oil/ fat in solid state under room temperature contain more saturated fat, which can increase the low density lipoprotein cholesterol (i.e. bad cholesterol) and in turn affect heart health. Examples include animal skin or fatty meat, coconut oil, palm oil. Those oils in liquid state under room temperature contain more unsaturated fat, which helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Examples include oil from deep sea fish, corn oil, canola oil or olive oil.

Hydrogenated vegetable oil (for example: shortening or margarine processed using hydrogenation) contains higher amount of trans-fat and is a major source of trans-fat in our diet. Trans-fat will increase the bad cholesterol in our body and reduce the high density lipoprotein cholesterol (good cholesterol) and therefore will increase and risk of heart disease. The Joint World Health Organization/ Food and Agriculture Organization suggested limiting our trans-fat intake as low as possible------ less than 1% of total energy intake. Using a 2000Kcal diet as example, we should have no more than 2.2g trans-fat daily. When designing healthy recipes, we can refer to Figure 3 (Comparison of Fatty acid composition of Various Common Cooking oils), and choose the options with less saturated fat and trans-fat and more unsaturated fats. This will be a ‘heart-caring’ action.

Figure 3 Comparison of Fatty Acid Composition of Various Common Cooking Oils

Common Cooking Oils

Saturated fats %

Trans fats %

Monounsaturated fats %

Polyunsaturated fats %

Canola Oil

8

0

64

28

High oleic sunflower oil

10

0

86

4

Grapeseed oil

10

0

17

73

Corn oil

14

0

29

57

Olive oil

14

0

75

11

Soybean oil

16

0

24

60

Peanut oil

18

0

48

34

Cottonseed oil

27

0

19

54

Palm oil

51

0

39

10

Coconut oil

92

0

6

2

Margarine, 80% fat, stick

16

16

42

26

Margarine, 80% fat, tub

17

7

44

32

Margarine-butter blend

17

18

36

29

Vegetable shortening

24

34

35

7

Butter

66

4

26

4

Lard

41

0

47

12

Chicken fat

31

0

47

22


Food Handling

No matter how delicious and appealing your dish is, food safety is also a crucial part to consider when it comes to recipe designing and cooking. Ingredients that can be easily perished, such as dairy products, should be stored in refrigerator at or below 4oC as soon as possible after purchasing. Before handling food, we should wash our hands thoroughly under warm water and using soap detergent for 20 seconds. We should use separate chopping boards and knife when cutting raw and cooked ingredients to avoid cross contamination. While cooking, make sure the temperature of the centre part of food is at least 75oC and well-cooked. Food that can perish easily should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours and should be kept properly in refrigerator.

Summary

Although the choices of ingredients are limited, the creativity is not. To design a healthy recipe, it is not as difficult as we think. We could read more recipes and put more efforts as well as use creativity to improve the recipes such as changing the 3 high ingredients (high fat, high sugar and high sodium) and cooking method. Then, a healthy, delicious dish with appealing presentation and aroma can be made.

Reference

1) Hong Kong Cancer Registry(2009), Hong Kong Hospital Authority

2) Nutrient Information Inquiry System, Centre of Food Safety

3) Trade Guidelines on Reducing Trans Fats in Food, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

4) Food Safety Express, Centre of Food Safety

5) Risk Assessment Studies Report No. 28. “Nutrient Values of Fruits and Vegetables”,Centre of Food Safety

Note:Students should be accompanied by guardians or adults to use cooking utensils to avoid accident.


Bridge Blog

My View on “Healthy Recipes”

I think the recipes are good to our health and the foods are nutritious . More fruits would be better!

I found the foods are good to our health and nutritious. They are delicious too.

I really want to cook the food but I don't know whether my mum will let me do it.

More varieties of recipes!

The foods are attractive and with a varieties of feed groups too. Remember to share them with your family members.

Bon Bonn is cute and the food is healthy!

Chinese people believe that eating well is a blessing. Unhealthy food usually associates with certain chronic illness so we have to eat healthily. Choose food with low fat, low sugar and low salt as well as high fibre. We also have to observe healthy cooking and preparation of food. We also have to store food properly and avoid eating rotten food. If we can eat healthily, we shall live healthily.


Bridge Chart

+852 1234 5678~ Siu Ming

Everybody please help me. I need to submit my homework on food recipe and nutrition. Please give me a hand.

Bridge

Do you have any idea and an outline.

+852 1234 5678~ Siu Ming

The main point is on health and fulfills the criteria of three low one high.

Bridge

Do you need to cook the dishes.

+852 1234 5678~ Siu Ming

It is not necessary. But need to show the ingredients and the cooking procedure. It will be perfect if dietitian’s nutrition analysis is added.

Bridge

Browse the following website, you will find the information you need. http://www .studenthealth.gov.hk/ english/health_recipe/health_recipe. html

+852 1234 5678~ Siu Ming

Got it, I can do my homework now


Junior Health Pioneer

Ming Ming: Tung-tung, the food at your I birthday party was really delicious, especially the tasty tomato and tuna fish sandwich. May I have the name of the shop that you bought it from. I can then buy them for my birthday party next month.
Junior Pioneer: I didn’t buy them from a shop. They were prepared by my mother and I. I can teach you how to do it if you are interested.
Ming Ming: Excellent, please teach me quickly.
Junior Pioneer: You may browse the Student Health Service website and look up the healthy receipe, it’s easy to find out how to prepare the tomato and tuna fish sandwich, you just need to follow it step by step.
Ming Ming: Thank you very much and I shall tell my mother immediately. Please remember to come to my birthday party next month. Bye Bye.

For enquiries of student's health problem, please write to "Health Box"

4/F, Lam Tin Polyclinic,

99 Kai Tin Road,

Kwun Tong,

Kowloon


Editorial Board Members: Dr. HO Chun-luen, David, Ms. LAI Chiu-wah, Phronsie, Ms. CHAN Shuk-yi, Karindi, Ms. CHOI Choi-fung, Ms. CHAN Kin-pui

Tel : 2349 4212 / 3163 4600 Fax : 2348 3968

 
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Last Revision Date : 9 December 2014