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The Fat Singaporeans Don’t Eat Enough Of – Deborah Tan

According to studies done by the National Nutrition Survey 2010, the average Singaporean doesn’t consume enough Omega 3 fatty acid. Deborah Tan has a great recipe you can try here but first …

Latest findings show that the average population in developed countries gets less than 10% of their Omega 3 needs. As the human body is unable to synthesize (produce) its own Omega 3 fatty acid, the only way to get this fat into our body is through our diet. Omega 3, a form of polyunsaturated fat, plays an important role in decreasing our risk for cardiovascular diseases, brain disorders and age-related macular (eye) degeneration.

omega3eatmoreSo how can we get more Omega 3 into our diet?

First, you have to bear in mind that the recommended ratio for polyunsaturated (P), monounsaturated (M) and saturated (S) fat is 1:1:1. In Singapore, it has been found that P:M:S ratio for the average adult is 0.5:1:1. This means we need to find more ways to add Omega 3 rich foods into our diets.

Second, we need to look at the balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3 in our diet. Like the Americans, many of us tend to take in too much Omega 6 fatty acid in the form of corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, and palm oil. An excess of Omega 6 fatty acid from vegetable oils can interfere with the health benefits of Omega 3.

What can we do?

1. Smart Substitutions
By replacing some of the foods we eat with options rich in Omega 3. For example, substitute chicken with tuna, or make it a point to eat meat of grass-fed animals. For cooking oil, instead of peanut or soybean oil, use more canola or flaxseed oil.

2. Increase Intake 
We must love Japanese food, judging by the long queues outside Japanese restaurants at mealtimes. So, make it a point to eat more salmon, mackerel, tuna sashimi and sushi. According to dietitian Mah Wai Yee, Omega 3 remains in the food no matter the cooking method. But obviously, eating salmon cutlet deep fried in palm oil is just … how can I say this … missing the point.

3. Reduce Omega 6
In his findings, Professor Philippe Legrand (who is chairman of the French guideline committees for fatty acid dietary recommendation) has found that consuming more olive oil can help reduce Omega 6 in our food intake.

Rather than tuck into your usual luncheon meat sandwich or fried beehoon, make your own healthy, brain-boosting breakfast. Here’s a tuna roll recipe you can easily make. Total time: 45 minutes.

Tuna rolls that you can easily make for breakfast!

Tuna rolls that you can easily make for breakfast!

– 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (60% hot + 40% room temperature should give you the right temperature)
– 1/2 cup of canola oil
– 2 tablespoons of yeast
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 egg
– 3 1/2 cups of flour
– 1 can of tuna in olive oil (I used Ayam Brand Tuna Omega 3)
– Salt and pepper to taste

I used this tuna - already chockfull of Omega 3!

I used this tuna – already chockfull of Omega 3!

1. In a small bowl, mix the tuna with some salt and pepper. Cover and set aside in your fridge.

2. In a second bowl, combine water, yeast, canola oil and sugar. Mix well and leave the mixture to stand for 15 minutes.

3. Mix in salt, egg and 2 cups of flour into the mixture. Add in remaining flour 1/2 a cup at a time. If your mixer comes with a dough hook, use that. If you don’t have a mixer, don’t fret. Grab a tablespoon and vigorously combine everything until you get a dough.

[Note: I like to give my bread dough a good knead. So lightly flour your work counter and pour the dough out and give it a quick knead until the dough is soft and stretchy. Remember to also flour your hands and the dough.]

4. Divide the dough into 12 balls. Flatten each ball and add just over half a tablespoon of tuna mix into the center. Wrap it and then gently roll into a ball, making sure all openings are sealed.

[Note: At Step 4, I like to oil my hands (wash them first!) with just a little bit of canola oil so the dough doesn’t stick to my hands.]

5. Once the tuna is packed into the rolls, leave the rolls to rest on a lightly greased tray for 10 minutes. Decorate with some coriander leaves, if you want.

6. Bake at 204 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes or until the rolls turn light brown.

If you want a bun with more flavor, substitute the tuna with sardines. Try Ayam Brand’s new Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Green Peppercorn because you don’t need to flavor the fish, just mash it up!

Soft and fluffy on the inside!

Soft and fluffy on the inside!

Bon appetit!

This post is neither paid for nor advised by Ayam Brand. All opinions are the author’s own.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, and Suits. Vanessa and Lili rated her tuna rolls a 7.5. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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