Malaysians love food, which is no surprise considering the abundance of varieties that we have. Aside from regular meals, Malaysians love to snack as well. Most of our meetings have some form of kuih-muih, curry puffs, or other snacks.
Often you will find Malaysians munching on a bun or two between meals, or a packet of chips, goreng pisang, cucur udang! We really are spoilt for choice when it comes to snacks.
However, have you considered how many calories there may be in some of your favourite snacks?
Firstly, let's understand calories. Just like a teaspoon or an inch, a calorie is a unit of measurement.
Calories are the amount of energy released when your body breaks down (digests and absorbs) food. The more calories a food has, the more energy it can provide to your body.
However, when you eat more calories than needed, your body stores the extra calories as body fat. Even fat-free food can have a lot of calories. Excess calories in any form will be stored as body fat.
While calories are not the only measurement to determine how healthy a type of food is, it provides a good baseline.
Recommended calories intake
According to the Malaysian Dietary Guidelines 2010, the recommended calories intake for adults (18-59 years old) who are living a sedentary lifestyle is as below:
- Male: 2000 kcal / day
- Female: 1500 kcal / day
However, the calories intake also depends on the level of activity and exercise you do. Another key factor is that the older you are, the fewer calories you need as your activity levels start to slow down.
Calories in famous Malaysian snacks
It is difficult to ascertain the specific calorie value for any type of given food as a lot depends on the serving size, and serving sizes differ.
However, the table below gives you an indication of the different amounts of calories each food contains.
We also compare each of them to a bowl of rice that contains 207 calories. That will give you a great visual idea of how many calories you are actually consuming!
|No.||Snack||Serving Size||Kcal||Equivalent Bowls of Rice|
|1||Agar agar||1 piece||37||0.18|
|2||Chicken Curry Bun||1 piece||204||0.99|
|3||Chinese glutinous rice (Lor Mai Kai)||1 bowl||422||2.04|
|4||Cucur udang||1 piece||144||0.70|
|5||Curry puff||2 pieces||256||1.24|
|7||Fried spring roll||1 piece||91||0.44|
|8||Kaya/Coconut bun||1 piece||219||1.06|
|9||Kuih Ang Koo||1 piece||111||0.54|
|10||Kuih apam balik||1 piece||282||1.36|
|11||Kuih koci, pulut putih||1 piece||183||0.88|
|12||Kuih talam seri kaya||1 piece||183||0.88|
|13||Nuts||6 whole almonds / cashew nuts; 1 whole walnut, 20 small peanuts without skin||45||0.22|
|15||Pisang goreng||1 piece||129||0.62|
|16||Plain Bread||1 piece||75||0.36|
|17||Potato chips||1 piece||95||0.46|
|18||Processed cheese||1 piece||95||0.26|
|19||Red bean bun||1 piece||223||1.08|
|20||Rojak (Chinese style)||1 plate||443||2.14|
|21||Rojak (Pasembur)||1 plate||752||3.63|
|22||Sardine Sandwich||1 piece||71||0.34|
|24||Yam cake||1 piece||174||0.84|
|25||Yau cha kueh||1 piece||292||1.41|
|26||Yoghurt, low fat||1 cup (150g)||100||0.48|
Calories in Local Malaysian Dishes
|1||Fried beehoon||1 plate (200g)||346|
|2||Chicken rice||1 plate (168g)||203|
|3||Briyani rice||1 plate (245g)||448|
|4||Soto ayam||1 bowl (493g)||512|
|5||Fried rice||1 plate (200g)||386|
|6||Roti canai||1 piece (95g)||301|
|7||Roti telur||1 piece (135g)||356|
|8||Capati||1 piece (64g)||192|
|9||Thosai||1 piece (114g)||210|
|10||Curry mee||1 bowl (544g)||702|
|11||Noodles soup||1 bowl (522g)||355|
|12||Nasi lemak||1 plate (200g)||338|
1 piece (156g)
1 pack (67g)
1 glass (250g)
|14||Murtabak||1 piece (146g)||231|
|15||Pizza with chicken, mushroom, tomato||1 medium slice (187g)||400|
|16||Fried kuey teow||1 plate (170g)||321|
|17||Chicken kurma||1 medium piece (125g)||179|
Find out more about your calorie intake at Gleneagles Hospital
If you have certain medical conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, consuming certain snacks may affect your recommended daily calorie intake and inadvertently cause complications.
Contact your doctor or the Diet Counselling Centre at your nearest Gleneagles Hospital to receive professional dietary advice from the team of qualified dietitians.
If you would like to make an appointment for health screening, please contact the health screening centre at the Gleneagles Hospital nearest to you.
- Malaysian Dietary Guidelines. Available at https://www.moh.gov.my/index.php/pages/view/227 [Accessed 17 June 2022]