Are Asia's trendy foods worth the calories

Are Asia's trendy foods worth the calories

by Kenneth Ong 10 Feb 2020

Food is a unanimous passion for everyone in the country and many food trends often sweep the nation, having people queue for hours just to have a taste of the latest, most popular foods in Singapore. Some of them are marketed as healthy alternatives of our favourite foods but are they really healthy? Follow us as we dig deep and find out which of Singapore’s beloved trendy foods are the most sinful.


Llao Llao

This frozen yogurt stand started popping up all over the country and queues as long as two hours began forming, all for a cup of Llao Llao Sanum. The chain’s frozen yogurt is made from skim milk, so it actually is fairly healthy, at only 103 calories for 100g of yogurt. The toppings, however, are the most sinful. Most of the sauces are packed full of sugar. Adding together the fruits and crunch, a cup of Sanum often adds up to around 300 calories.


Bubble tea

This sweet treat originated from Taiwan and swept the nation years ago. The bubble tea trend has since tamed but remains one of many Singaporeans’ favourite guilty pleasures. A cup of bubble tea is often packed full of sugar, fatty milk and starchy tapioca balls, adding up to about 335 calories.


Salted egg yolk

The past year has seen the rise of the salted egg yolk. Every establishment is offering something of this flavour; salted egg yolk fries, burgers, ice cream, buns, egg tarts, croissants, squid, fish & chips, if you can name it, it’s probably being sold somewhere. It doesn’t take a genius to realize salted egg yolk sauce is far from the healthiest option, with a high salt content, made with butter, sugar, and evaporated milk. A serving of salted egg yolk sauce, typically around 200g, has a total of 568 calories. Yikes, maybe it’s time to lay off the salted egg.


Hokkaido cheese tarts

People are willing to queue up for over two hours just to buy a half dozen of these tarts. Fluffy, sweet and fragrant, it’s no surprise they were such a hit. Each tart is about 180 calories. Not too bad, but not the healthiest snack. 



These cinnamon-sugar covered fried dough sticks are no doubt delicious. Dipped in a dark chocolate or dulce de leche sauce, a cup of churros is many Singaporeans’ favourite end to a meal. A single churro stick is 116 calories; now, add on your choice of sauce to send it over 200 calories. And, of course, it’s not easy to stop at one…



These bowls of shaved ice, though pricey, don’t actually seem too unhealthy. I mean, after all, it’s just ice! But a bowl of bingsu often comes with heaps of sweetened toppings and evaporated milk, resulting in a 300 calorie bowl of shaved ice goodness.


Chun Cui He milk tea

Arguably the most outrageous food trend, bottles of these Taiwanese milk teas had Singaporeans waking up in the wee hours of the night, rushing to a nearby 7-11 outlet just to buy bottles of them. Packed full of sugar and cream, the milk tea is full of calories, racking up over 200 per bottle. They’re off the shelf for now, owing to an unapproved ingredient, but when they make their much-anticipated return, you should give it a second thought before your 3am 7-11 runs!


If this teaches us anything, it’s that not all trendy foods are the healthiest, so be sure to do your research before deciding to buy a cup of Llao Llao daily.