Add vegetables for fibre, cut down on salt

Lean pork is a good source of protein and has all the essential amino acids needed for the body.

In 100g of lean pork loin, you get 29g of protein and 5g of fat, of which 2g is saturated fat. You also get iron and B vitamins such as niacin, thiamin, B6 and B12.

Bamboo shoots are non-starchy vegetables that are low in calories, carbohydrates and fat.

Cooked bamboo shoots amount to only 12kcal per 100g, containing less than 2g of carbohydrates and only 0.2g of fat.

They are high in potassium (522mg/100g) - a mineral that aids in a variety of body functions, such as helping nerves and muscles to communicate and moving nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells.

  • NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

  • (Per serve - 348g)

    Energy: 99kcal

    Protein: 13.3g

    Total fat: 3.6g

    Saturated fat: 0.9g

    Dietary fibre: 1.3g

    Carbohydrates: 2.7g

    Cholesterol: 59.4mg

    Sodium: 574.3mg

A diet rich in potassium helps to offset some of the harmful effects that sodium has on blood pressure.

Tau kwa, like other bean curds, is high in protein (10g/100g) and does not contain cholesterol.

It is also rich in omega-3 and isoflavones. Researchers are studying how isoflavones can benefit health, for instance, in preventing osteoporosis.

You can replace part of your animal protein intake with soya protein such as tofu or tau kwa - but not soya sausages or other high-sodium alternatives.

Tau cheow is fermented soya bean paste. Fermentation increases the digestibility of soya protein and absorption of the nutrients that it contains.

However, tau cheow should be taken in moderation as it is high in sodium. One tablespoon would make up 17 per cent of your daily sodium allowance.

This recipe could be made healthier by adding more vegetables to increase the fibre and vitamin content. You could also reduce the amount of tau cheow (sodium) used.

Bibi Chia

Principal dietitian, Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2016, with the headline 'Add vegetables for fibre, cut down on salt'. Print Edition | Subscribe