What's Chinese New Year without the yummy food? One of the key highlights of the home visitations are the gastronomic delights that are prepared lovingly by our hosts.
We explore 6 popular goodies and their nutritional
Go ahead to enjoy the treats but exercise restraint. Make this new year a good healthy feasting that would keep you in the pink of health.
1 piece, 57g
A salty sweet dried meat product, a single piece of bak kwa has 229kcal, 8g fat, 24g sugar. So eat these sparingly.
2 pieces, 40g
These buttery treats are a highlight during Chinese New year. Limit yourself to two pieces each time. That's equivalent to 163kcal, 7g fat and 12g sugar.
4 rolls, 52g
Love letters may seem light and easy on the palate but 4 rolls can add 224kcal, 6g fat and 19g sugar to your diet!
5 pieces, 30g
Kueh bangkit is all about the melt-in-your-mouth goodness. and 5 pieces has 115kcal, 5g fat and 20g sugar.
1/4 portion, 106g
Prepared from glutinous rice, 1/4 portion of a nian gao will give you 244kcal, 0.5g fat and 56g sugar.
Suckling pig, roasted
1 serve, 168g
If you enjoy suckling pig, note that 1 serve is equivalent to 652kcal, 54g fat. That's easily 30% of your daily calorie intake!
Tips from the expert, Ms Bibi Chia, Principal Dietitian, Raffles Hospital
Eat your main meals before snacking. When you feel full, you are less likely to eat as many snacks.
Choose only your favourite snack foods and limit your intake to 1-2 pieces. However, if eating less is not possible, avoid eating them totally. Or have the snack once in a year and stick to the plan!
Sweetened beverages are another source of unwanted calories. Where possible go for plain water, diet soft drinks, "no sugar added", or "less sugar" beverages.
Move your body.
Exercise will help you burn off the extra calories, keep your weight in check, help manage blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Walk for 15 minutes after meals.
8 Tips for preparing healthy meals during Chinese New Year
- Serve a variety of vegetables during meal times. Vegetables contain a lot of vitamins and minerals needed by the body.
- Serve foods in high fibre such as brown rice, brown rice beehoon or oatmeal cookies . Other than fibre, these foods are also lower in glycemic index.
- Serve fish and tofu dishes rather than red meat such as beef and pork because these have lesser saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Prepare lean meat or remove the visible fat or skin of the poultry.
- Prepare foods using healthier cooking methods such as boiling, grilling, steaming or stir frying with less oil to reduce oil and fat consumption.
- Use natural herbs and spices or dried fruit to replace the use of sugar, salt and sauce in cooking.
- Serve fresh fruit as a better choice for dessert.
- Reduce sugary drinks and make sure plain water is available at all times.
8 Tips for Healthy Eating During Chinese New Year
- Eat according to the recommended serving size or smaller portions.
- Choose foods low in calories such as fruits and prepare foods with less oil, fat and coconut milk, if needed.
- Choose foods high in fibre to prevent constipation during the festive season.
- Limit intake of sweet foods such as nian gao, sweet biscuits, candies and chocolates.
- Choose fresh fruits as snacks or desserts.
- Limit intake of foods high in salt such as chips and crackers.
- Drink plain water instead of sweetened beverages.
- Limit alcohol intake. Excessive intake can be harmful to health.