Monday, October 17, 2011

Food That Will Kill You Slowly - Part 1

Malaysian loves their food. Nasi Lemak for breakfast. Banana Leaf Rice for lunch. Hokkien Mee for dinner. In between, don't forget the Roti Canai. Throw in some Karipap. Wait, might as well add in some Yau Char Kuey while you are there. Supper at 2am? Why not? After all, "I can't sleep and there is Football on the big screen tv".
Here is my take on our Malaysian foodstuff that will kill you, slowly. They are in no particular order, to start off, i will introduce three in Part 1. I will try to educate when i have time to write (usually at night).
No images will be used for the obvious reason. Images, if any, will not feature any brand name.
Here goes. I hope i will make you think a few more times before you order your next meal.

1. Sweetened Condensed Milk
This is the most used ingredient in most sweetened tea, coffee and dessert in Malaysia. They are made up of cow's milk where the water has been removed and sugar added. They can last for years even after opened and unrefrigirated as the sugar acts as preservatives. Due to cost consideration, the sweetened condensed milk in Malaysia has palm oil added, which are usually hydrogenated before being used in the process to make condensed milk. Extensively used to make drinks such as Teh Tarik and a host of many other milk based sweet beverages (Milo included), this ingredient will leads you to Diabetes heaven. A tablespoon full (about 30grams or 15ml) gives you 15grams of carbs of which 100% is sugar and gives 90calories. There is 2 grams of fat with each spoonful. The Glycemic index (GI) is 61. They make your Teh Tarik, Kopi Ais, Teh Ais, Sirap Bandung taste good and they are sure to spike the sugar level and insulin level - making sugar related diseases and heart attack a few more spoonful away.
Healthier substitution - full cream or low fat milk.

2. Evaporated Milk
Kissing cousin of Sweetened Condensed Milk that has 60%  water removed. It is rich and often used as a milk substitute in cooking. As they are twice more "concentrated", it is easy to see why they are used in food such as Fish Head Noodle (for the creamy taste), Laksa (all except Sarawak and Assam Laksa), desserts, beverages such as Kopi-si, Teh-si (which both have condensed milk too). A tablespoon (same as condensed milk) gives you 3 grams of carbs of which 100% is sugar. They are fat free and provide 22calories. GI index is at 30. Looked like a healthier substitute of Condensed Milk - only if they are taken as they are by mixing equal amount of water as that would gives you the equivalent of a cup of milk.
Healthier substituion - as standalone milk, they are perfect (after mixing with equal amount of water). Else, use fullcream or low fat.

3. Milk Substitute or non-dairy creamer
Avoid at all cost. These stuff are used to make explosive (without using real explosive) for amateur video purposes.. I am not joking. They are also used to whiten clothes (wikipedia sourced). Non-dairy creamer is made from vegetable fat. The vegetable oil goes through hydrogenated process which will turn them into saturated fat. Don't think they can do much harm? How about if i show you the ingredient of a leading non-dairy creamer?
How many ingredient can you pronounce?
I won't even bother telling you the nutritional value (if any after reading the above) but this is best avoided at all cost. In fact, the government SHOULD ban this and place this at the same level as illicit drugs. Bear in mind that this non-dairy creamer is hiding in all instant beverages such as those usual 2-in-1, 3-in-1, 5-in-1, ready milk cocoa drink (powder). There is a reason why they are delicious and so called "correctly proportioned for that perfect cuppa", which chemical (i don't even classify this as food) that will give you Hollywood like explosion AND still make your drinks great? Got to be the explosive non-dairy creamer! AVOID!
Substitution  - REAL MILK. You can froth them up or whisk them for that real creamy taste!

Make an informed choice with the food you put in your mouth and into your digestive system. You are what you eat!

Part 2 coming up soon. Stay tune or subscribed to


  1. Totally agree with you on this hydrogenated oils - the sugar is a double whammy. I don't take anything with hydrogenated fats in it so unfortunately that excludes most commercial baked goods, which use margarine (cheaper than butter).

  2. Gracie - wait up for Part 2 due tomorrow. :) Insight into these eveil hydrogenated stuff and how they are being "named" differently.

  3. Wah, have to wait till tomorrow ah. So suspense!! :p

  4. Part of the marketing ploy to keep readers wanting more.

    I only blog when i am home and when the kids and wife are sleeping. It's a tiring job that i enjoyed as writing is a way to improve my language skills.


    So, i write outside of office hour...else nanti ada yang kata i tak kerja :P

  5. Thank you for this very informative ariticle series. I had since 2015/2016 realised the danger of creamer especially so in the drinks we order from our fav mamak. I have totally cut out creamers in my drink and replaced my condensed creamer with the more expensive real milk condensed milk which cost 5rgt a can compared to 2.30rgt for the creamer. It is sad that not many people know that they are actually adding oil to their nescafe/ teh/kopi. I am sharing your article on my FB and hope you are ok with it. Thank you for educating me on my choices of food ie milk, butter, margerine etc. God Bless.