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It is a big mistake to think that Filipino food is unhealthy. While many believe that the manner by which we cook our food is mostly deep fried and fat heavy, there are more dishes that actually embody the healthy forms of our dish.

Checking on the two major components of any dish will help assess whether our food is healthy or not – you decide.

Component #1: Ingredients

Filipino vegetable dishes are not just nutritious but also flavorful. Consider our pinakbet, a dish that is full of flavor that the aroma alone can get you really hungry.  The ingredients include eggplant, garlic, tomatoes, onions, bitter gourd, squash, string beans and fermented shrimp or fish paste. Another vegetable dish that is a favorite among Filipino’s is the sinigang na baboy. Traditionally, the tangy sourness of the sinigang broth is usually made from fresh kamias, guava, santol or tamarind. However, most people now make use of the pre-mixed sinigang flavor. Vegetables included in this dish are onions, tomatoes, string beans, radish, swamp cabbage, okra, eggplant and green chili. For the meat ingredient, you may choose from fish, pork or beef.

These are just two vegetable dishes from amongst the many lists of healthy Filipino dishes like fried lumpiang togue, tinolang manok, ginisang munggo and many more.

Component #2: Way of Cooking

Gisa or stir fry is the usual way of cooking Filipino dishes. Making use of onions, tomatoes and garlic, it is the base ingredient of almost every Filipino recipe. These vegetables are high in nutrients are beneficial in facilitating detoxification, reduces inflammation, act as antioxidants and strengthens the immune system.

Another way of cooking Filipino food is ginataan. Gata dishes make use of the rich and creamy coconut milk. It usually includes shrimp, fish or crab as the meat ingredients which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Bicol express, ginataang langka, ginataang kalabasa (squash) and sitaw (string beans) are some of the Filipino dishes using this way of cooking.

Consider these two components the next time you are about to eat Filipino food and find out yourself how nutritious and flavorful our dishes can be.

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