Did any of you read the Star newspaper yesterday. The headlines read "Food Fat-ish" and it was basically about Malaysians and their unhealthy eating habits. When i first read the article, they were taking aim at the mamak stalls for being open 24 hours. In my mind i was thinking, Oh boy, here we go again... the same old argument...blame the mamak and McDonalds for people making the wrong choices in food. To me, if you are blaming the Mamak for being there 24 hours a day, then you are barking up the wrong tree. Well they didn't totally take the piss of the mamaks, but just highlighted some statistics about Malaysians being obese.
Then as i read further, i came across the nutrition table and my eyes almost popped out. This is a national news paper with a huge circulation and i can't believe what they were saying. There are 3 major points that i disgree with, so i will post them up here 1 by 1 for you guys.
1) Roti Canai is 301 kCal and Chapatti is 300 kCal
Now i don't know about you guys, but that number just seems wrong to me. Have you seen how they make Roti Canai? You make it with refined flour, margarine and loads of oil. While you are pressing it out, you bathe it with more oil. When you cook it, you flood it with even more oil. Now i have seen these stats before in other places, and i am still baffled with how a roti canai can only be a mere 1 calorie more than chapatti... i mean seriously. Even with white bread and whole meal bread, there is a difference of almost 20 calories... and the oil spilt roti canai vs the dry chapatti is only 1 calorie? Does anyone know the explanation for this?
2) Murtabak 231 kCal and roti canai 301 kCal
Wooohh.... have you seen how they make murtabak? They take your roti canai (whole thing), add in chicken pieces, egg and onions and then cook it. Now, how in the hell did adding more ingredients make the murtabak have less calories than the plain old roti canai? It's like a bowl of plain rice will have more calories than a bowl of fried rice with all the ingredients dumped in.
Come on guys, at least check your figures before you blast it out like that. Now i thought maybe they are refering to some small murtabak, but nope, the weight of an average roti canai is 95g while the murtabak is 146g. so the murtabak is heavier than your roti canai. So how the hell did it miraculously lose 70 calories after you added ingredients? Mind blowing. i need to learn this recipe.
3) They had a table that showed how many calories you should be consuming.
OK granted, it is just a recommendation, and it should not be caste in stone. But 1 major thing they failed to highlight (which is probably the most important) was the level of activity. Meaning, when you recommend 2,400kCal a day for an individual between the age of 30 to 50, what kind of activity level are we talking about? Sleeps all day, watch TV all day, or moderately active, or super workout junkie or construction worker. My point is, just flashing out the number 2400 is really quite pointless and has little meaning. Now if you are a pretty active individual and try to follow this recommendation, you could be starving yourself of nutrients. I know all of you will be saying, its meant for the average joe... but how much activity does an average joe do? well they could have easily added in a 1 liner that says moderately active, with abaout 20 minutes of physical activity a day or something. this would have helped to put things in perspective, rather than just flashing a number. Its like saying 85kg is overweight... not if you are 6'5" and a body builder with 8% body fat. See what i mean? Just flashing a number doesn't make sense.
Anyway, thats just some thoughts that i wanted to share with all of you. I don't have anything against the Star newspaper, but i just thought that somebody needs to put things in perspective. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments on this... especially on point number 1, coz i am curious as to how they got those figures.