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Eating healthy according to Malaysia Healthy Plate

If you haven’t heard of Malaysia Healthy Plate, you could be missing out on one of the easiest guidelines for healthy eating there is.

The #SukuSukuSeparuh or ‘Quarter-Quarter-Half’  campaign was introduced by the Malaysian Ministry of Health in late 2016 to promote healthy eating habits among Malaysians. It was reported that only 6 per cent of adult Malaysians consumed sufficient fruits and vegetables in 2015 compared to 7.5 per cent in 2011.

How does Malaysia Healthy Plate work?

Imagine your plate divided into two quarters and one half, and this is how much proteins, grains, fruits and vegetables you should be having with every meal. The recommended portions for a healthy meal are a quarter for grains like rice, another quarter for proteins like chicken, meat, seafood, bean products and half for fruits and vegetables.

This guideline comes in really handy for Malaysians especially when attending parties, functions and our favourite national activity – open house!

According to nutritionist Nicholas Alvin George, while it is important to have a balanced meal, it is equally important to eat on time.

Why? “Eating on time and not skipping meals can increase your metabolism.”

He gave an example of a regulated eating time: breakfast at 7am, brunch at 10am, lunch at 1pm, tea time at 4pm and dinner at 7pm.

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Stuck on what to have for your healthy meals? Here are some of Nicholas’ suggestions based on the Malaysia Healthy Plate portions:

  1. Breakfast
    Make oatmeal with 4 tablespoons of oats and 2 tablespoons of milk. Have 4 pieces of Jacob’s High Fibre Crackers.
  2. Brunch
    Take 2 pieces of Jacob’s High Fibre Crackers with a glass of milk.
  3. Lunch
    Have one small bowl of rice (the best is brown rice) with 3/4 bowl of vegetables. Add one piece of chicken drumstick or two matchbox sized chicken breast or one medium-sized mackerel.
  4. Tea time
    Take two pieces of Jacob’s High Fibre Crackers and with a glass of milk.
  5. Dinner
    Have one small bowl of rice (the best is brown rice) with 3/4 bowl of vegetables. Add one piece of chicken drumstick or two matchbox sized chicken breast or one medium-sized mackerel.
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“This meal plan is just a basic suggestion. You can create your own variety and remember the ‘Quarter-Quarter-Half’ concept and don’t skip meals,” said Nicholas, who also advises to take your last meal at least four hours before bedtime.

Here is another suggestion of a meal plan according to Malaysian Ministry of Health:

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