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Be Street-smart with Street Foods

You are not a Filipino if you dont know what Isaw is? Or if you dont know whats
inside a basket carrying by a shouting man at night? Or why bystanders holding some sticks
beside a bicycle with a small side pan? And you can find all of these in the street so thats why it
called Pinoy Street Foods. These include fishball, betamax, isaw, balut, kwek-kwek; the list just
goes on and on with a partner of scrumptious sweet & sour sauce.
However, as much as we want to relish every delightful flavour that these original
Filipino street delicacies have to offer, medical experts who have continued to become halt
advocates of sanitary food preparation and food safety are always in doubt of these Pinoy street
foods. As a matter of fact, Prof. Ma. Patricia V. Avanza, Ph.D. of the Food Science and Nutrition
Department of the UP College of Home Economics in Diliman mentioned in her blog that street
foods are the most dangerous Filipino dishes, largely because of the insufficient cooking
methods involved.
Did you ever wonder what benefits or danger we could get on eating this kind of food?
Let us try to take a look on some of your favourite Street food.

Balut
Nutrition Facts
Servings:

1 piece cooked (70g)

Amount per serving


Calories 188
% Daily Values *
Total Fat

14 g

Cholesterol

619 mg

Sodium

23%

102 mg

Total Carbs 1 g
Protein
Calcium

206%
4%

0%
14 g

12%

Iron

28%
11%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower
depending on your calorie needs.

Whats Good: At one quick look it is just an ordinary hard-boiled egg but a special one. Balut
is mostly described as FDE or fertilized duck egg. It is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly
developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. Balut is a good source of iron and
B-vitamins, and is rich in amino acids and protein, says nutritionist dietician Tiffany Santuyo,
RND.
Whats Bad: Its very high in cholesterol, says Santuyo. Not good for people with heart
conditions.

Calamares
Nutrition Facts
Servings:

1 order(55g)

Amount per serving


Calories 96
% Daily Values *
Total Fat

4g

Cholesterol

143 mg

Sodium

6%

168 mg

Total Carbs 4 g
Protein

48%
7%

1%
10g

20%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower
depending on your calorie needs.

Whats Good: Calamares is a good source of phosphorus, vitamin B-12, riboflavin, niacin and
zinc. It also contains smaller amounts of magnesium, vitamin C, iron, calcium and vitamin B-6.
Phosphorus is essential for strong bones and teeth and is used by the body for creating proteins,
storing energy and for nerve and muscle function. Vitamin B-12 is found only in animal foods
and is used for forming red blood cells and DNA and for brain function.
Whats Bad: Contains large amount of sodium and cholesterol from the breading and cooking
oil. In addition to the fact that some street vendors continue to secretly use formalin-treated
squids in cooking calamares, the unsanitary food handling, increasing number of pollutants in

the streets and disease-carrying flies have made this local street food one of the tastiest but most
dangerous street delicacies to date.

Fishballs
Nutrition Facts
Servings:

15 pieces fried(100g)

Amount per serving


Calories 155
% Daily Values *
Total Fat

8.3 g

13%

Cholesterol

40 mg

13%

Sodium

630 mg

Protein

9.7g

26%
19%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower
depending on your calorie needs.

Whats Good: Long been hailed as the king of all street balls, fish balls and its other varieties
like squid balls are probably one of the most famous and affordable street foods to date. Maria
Francia Barela, nutritionist-dietician of the Hospital of Infant Jesus, pointed out in the January
30, 2011 issue of Health & Fitness magazine that fish balls and squid balls are both natural
sources of protein and carbohydrates. Homemade fishballs can be a good source of energy and
protein.
Whats Bad: However, its the preparation of several street vendors, not the actual food itself,
that can impose greater risks on the health of innocent people who eat them regularly on the
streets. She said, Actually, the possible dangers rely on the handling of the vendor. There could
be a possibility of having cross contamination, like for example, the foods are exposed, and the
dipping sauces are not well-monitored by the vendor. Moreover, its no purely fish, but mostly a
roll of MSG-peppered flour thats high in sodium.

Isaw
Nutrition Facts
Servings:

1-2 Sticks

Amount per serving


Calories 165
% Daily Values *
Total Fat

5g

Cholesterol

134 mg

8%
45%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower
depending on your calorie needs.

Whats Good: Its grilled chicken intestines also known as Isaw. May have calcium and iron.
Whats Bad: Its high in cholesterol, fat and purine, which may lead to uric acid. Not suitable
for people with gouty arthritis, warns Santuyo. Isaw may cause illnesses such as amoebiasis or
hepatitis A if not thoroughly cleaned and properly cooked. In addition to that, Prof. Ma. Patricia
V. Avanza, Ph.D. has also pointed out that the internal temperature used when grilling isaw is
not adequate to kill bacteria or parasites that reside on it, but most of its negative health effects
come from the fact that isaw is a rich source of cholesterol and excess calories; eating too much
of it can increase your risks of cardiovascular diseases and even cancer due to the benzopyrene it
contains, Dr. Barela added.

Kwek-kwek or Tokneneng
Nutrition Facts
Servings:

1 stick (2 pcs. medium size)

Amount per serving


Calories 230
% Daily Values *
Total Fat

5g

Total Carbs 51 g

8%
17%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower
depending on your calorie needs.

Whats Good: This deep-fried eggs coated in eye-popping yellow-orange color is packed with
Vitamin C, A and iron.
Whats Bad: This is a no-brainer because deep-frying a calorie-rich egg which is also coated
with other fattening components only produces a final product that can only increase your heart
attack and hypertension risks with regular consumption. It also has high sugar content.

Taho
Nutrition Facts
Servings:

1 cup (110g)

Amount per serving


Calories 68
% Daily Values *
Total Fat

0.8 g

1%

Cholesterol

0.8 mg

0%

Sodium

475 mg

Total Carbs 7.9 g


Protein

2%

3%
5g

10%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower
depending on your calorie needs.

Whats Good: Consuming a cup of Taho each day helps in enhancing our skin cells to eliminate
the bad skin cells that is causing discoloration. It also improves metabolism has lower cholesterol
and rich in lunasin, protein, carbohydrates, folic acid, calcium and vitamin B1 and B4. Soy can
prevent the formation of tumors that causes having cancer and related diseases. It can also
prevent males from having prostate cancer. High intake of soy-based products can also help
prevent breast cancer, oesteoporosis, and even cardiovascular diseases.
Whats Bad: May increase ones tolerance to sweet taste because of caramelized syrup.

Mark Jojie M. Emelo