Lunar New Year celebrations are still going on in many places and offices across the city, and doctors and nutritionists remind us of the hazards of consuming calorie-rich delicacies.
Let’s admit it: most of the foods on the holiday table are quite unhealthy. However, when you adopt the two principles of “feeding yourself in moderation” and “adjusting calories intake”, you can still enjoy good food while having a healthy holiday.
What does “in moderation” mean? Among foods that are high in calories, pick only two or three of your favorites, and then take one or at most two slices of each.
More importantly, set an eating quota for yourself so you won’t overeat.
“Adjusting calories intake” simply means reducing the amount of your standard meal after taking in holiday snacks and delicacies.
For example, if you have two slices of turnip cakes in between meals, you should reduce your intake of rice by a third in the next meal.
Congee and steamed vegetables are lighter lunch and dinner options for your busy stomach.
Of course, you can choose something less “detrimental”.
In the steamed cakes category, turnip cakes have lower calorie content than water chestnut cakes, generally speaking. A coconut-milk-based year cake is notoriously high in calories.
The method of cooking also matters. Steaming cakes is preferred to pan-frying them.
Inside the Chinese candy box, pumpkin seeds have lower salt content than watermelon seeds. Dried fruits such as apricots are better than sweets and chocolates.
Visiting relatives with gifts is a must-do ritual during the holidays. Many Hongkongers love buying deluxe sets of sweets, cookies or chocolates for their families. They all have high fat and sugar content.
Make a change by sending fruit baskets, Chinese mushrooms, dried seafood, noodles, tea leaves or unsalted roasted nuts instead.
Giving away excess gift sets to charity is also a good solution.
Balance is the key to success. Restrain yourself and all food items will be good when the right amount is consumed.
Also, don’t forget to exercise.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb. 4.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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