Malays And Indians Need To Change Their Eating Habits To Fight War Against Diabetes
For Malay food vendor Aida Manapi, 50, the tastiest ayam penyet (smashed fried chicken) must be crispy and glistening, and there is only one way to cook it — “deep fried”. And when it comes to roti prata, no one serves it by being stingy on ghee (clarified butter), said stall vendor Senthilvel Vedachalam, 43. Such traditional methods of cooking or serving Indian and Malay favourite dishes, along with mindsets that they have to be cooked in a certain way for best results – have made it difficult for many hawkers and home cooks to change the way they prepare these dishes. For them, unlike Chinese dishes, one cannot produce a healthier, yet still tasty ayam penyet or roti prata by simply using less oil, salt or sauce. But change they must if the two communities are to win the war against diabetes, which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong described as a “health crisis” for Malays and Indians during his National Day Rally (NDR) on Aug 20.
Mr Lee also shared some sobering figures, noting that six in 10 Indians, and half of Malays above age 60 are diabetic, compared to 2.5 in 10 for the Chinese. With the fight against diabetes in Singapore being stepped up, community leaders and some members of the Malay and Indian communities have called for more targeted measures to deal with the problem. One area that needs to be addressed is their eating habits, even though those interviewed acknowledged that it will be an uphill task. Mr Rathinasamy Murugesan, owner of Greenleaf Cafe, an Indian restaurant in Little India, pointed out that many Indians eat a lot at one go, three times Continue reading