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Healthcare and wellness

Health and Wellness Guide                                                  chinese

Today, a growing number of people are becoming more aware and conscious about their health, thus health and wellness is becoming increasingly popular.

Singapore offers numerous healthcares and wellness services, and is home to renowned health practitioners who never fail to offer top class services to clients.

Healthcare services are split into different aspects, namely, Western medical treatment, complementary and alternative treatment, spiritual and meditation services, and beauty and aesthetic services, and many more.

As defined by the World Health Organisation, health refers to a ‘state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. In Singapore, the wide array of services helps you to achieve this goal of overall health and wellness.

Healthcare is a lifetime goal that one should set to achieve optimal physical and mental health throughout his/her life. However, the needs for different people vary.

One goes through several stages of growth throughout their life, starting from an infant to a toddler, child, teenager, adult and finally an elder. Nutritional and healthcare needs differ during a different stage of life. On top of this, male and female needs also differ.

Nutritional needs are higher when one is a child or teenager as he/she is growing. They would need adequate amounts of energy and nutrients as their brains are still developing. Without a healthy and balanced diet, they may not be able to develop to their full potential, and may make way for diseases in the future. For example, inadequate intake of calcium may lead to osteoporosis in the future as the body has little stores of it, thus his/her bones may be weak.

The diet for males and female adults are similar. However, males may require more energy, protein and a few other nutrients as they generally are bigger, therefore having more muscle mass. The nutrients are required to fuel these muscles.

The triangular diagram above is also known as the Healthy Diet Pyramid provided by the Health Promotion Board. It reflects the guideline that a normal, healthy adult is recommended to follow in a day. The bottom of the pyramid is what you should eat more of and the top is one that you should eat less of. For more information, do refer to http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/2638

As for an elderly, they would require a balanced diet to prevent health deterioration and maintain health. Their focus is to prevent diseases from developing and perform the simple tasks of everyday life, also known as activities of daily living.

Basically, no matter the age group and gender, one would have to consume sources of essential nutrients as listed below:


Carbohydrates are needed to supply our body with energy. The energy is needed to supply various processes of organs and tissues in the body such as the heart, nervous, digestive and immune systems. Teenagers would need more sources of this nutrient.

Extra carbohydrate not used as energy would be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If the glycogen levels are too high, the carbohydrates would be converted to fat and accumulate in the body, resulting in obesity. Little carbohydrate intake would lead to fatigue and reduced stamina.

It is recommended to consume ‘natural’ carbohydrates, especially whole grains instead of processed carbohydrates such as biscuits, potato chips, etc.

Sources of carbohydrates: Rice, pasta, noodles, bread.

Good sources of whole grains: Oatmeal, whole meal bread, brown rice


Proteins are made up of amino acids. Although it provides energy, it is not the body’s main source of energy. It is the building block of organs and tissues as it aids in the structure, function and regulation of these organs. It also helps in blood clotting, maintaining fluid balance and is involved in the production of hormones and enzymes.

Protein sources include fish, tofu, eggs, and meats like chicken, beef, pork, lamb, etc.

However, consuming too much red meats like beef, lamb, duck would have detrimental effects on the body as it also contains saturated fat which leads to diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Meats that are barbequed and grilled may contain carcinogens which could lead to cancer in the long run.


Fats provide the yummy flavours of foods. Despite myths that fats are bad and one should avoid that at all costs, this is not true as it has several benefits. Fats help to insulate the body against cold and protect organs and bones from shock. It also helps to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K as the vitamins are only soluble in fat. However, consuming too much fat rich foods can lead to obesity and diseases. It can be divided into saturated fats and unsaturated fats.

Saturated fats are also known as the ‘bad fats’ as it raises Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that increases the risk of heart disease. Sources of saturated fat are meat, dairy and eggs. Plant sources include coconut palm oils. Trans fat is a saturated fat and can be found in deep fried foods.

Unsaturated fats are the ‘good fats’. It lowers LDL cholesterol. These comprise of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fat. These can help to reduce risk of heart diseases and boost the immune system. Sources of unsaturated fat are olive, peanut, canola oil and avocado.  

Other than the three basic nutrients, one should also consume sources of vitamins and minerals.

For more information, do refer to Health Promotion Board’s chart available at: http://www.nuh.com.sg/wbn/slot/u1753/Events%20&%20Health%20Information/Patient%20Education/HSL_VitaminMineral.pdf




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