Thursday, 3 February 2011

Main cereal foods of Malaysians

Rice is the staple food of this country. Almost the whole population consumes rice twice daily, sometimes as porridge. White rice is invariably the choice of the population.
Greater efforts should be made by the community to consume under-milled rice or brown rice as they are of much higher nutritional value.

A variety of rice products are also consumed. These include a variety of products made from rice flour, and include several noodle-type products, such as mee-hoon, mee-sua, kueh-teow, lo-see-fun and mee-laksa. These are useful ingredients to prepare rather complete meals, after adding some meat or fish products plus plenty of vegetables.

You should prepare these meals with less oil and coconut milk. There are also several local “kuih” made from rice flour, e.g. bidaran, kuih kasui, kuih bom, kuih buah Melaka, kuih karas, kuih koci, and kuih talam. These foods should be consumed only in moderate amounts as many of these are high in sugar and contain coconut milk.

A variety of wheat flour products are consumed by wide segments of the community. Bread is certainly the most common one. The preference should be for the healthier alternatives of whole grain or wholemeal bread, as well as those with other grains added.

A number of products made from wheat flour is also commonly consumed, the most popular being noodle (mee). Cake is also made from wheat flour, but we should take note that it could be high in fat and sugar. Several local “kuih” are also made from wheat flour, e.g. dumpling, kuih apam, apam balik, and kuih ketayap.

As for rice flour products, we should opt for varieties of these that contain less sugar, coconut milk and fat.

Tubers are also good sources of energy

Tubers are the fleshy underground swelling of stem or root strands that normally contain varying amounts of starch. Root and tuber crops are consumed as food in many countries in the world.
However, their contribution to the energy supply of the population varies within a large range, depending on the country.

Many species and varieties are consumed but three species such as cassava, potato, and sweet potato provide more than 90% of the root and tuber crops used for direct human consumption.

Tubers are also sometimes consumed in this country. The common tubers include cassava, potato, sweet potato and yam. Tubers are also rich in carbohydrates, with similar protein levels compared to cereals. But their fat content is very low, resulting in slightly lower energy levels than that of cereals.

The MDG 2010 has grouped tubers together with cereals and cereal products, placed at the base of the food pyramid.

I would like to promote the consumption of red varieties of sweet potato and yam, in view of their interesting flavours and the carotenoids they contain.

Above article are partialy extracted from the star online dated Jan 30 2011

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