With one of the most well-loved festivals right around the corner, are you ready for the onslaught of amazing and mouthwatering festive food coming your way?
Chinese New Year, on top of red packets and family reunion, is well-loved by people because of the rich array of delicious food that comes with it! In most of the households, you can most certainly find a Chinese Candy Box awaiting your arrival when you go and offer festive greetings. The most common sweets you can find in there are chocolate coins, dried candied lotus seeds and roots, dried candied coconut, dried candied ginger, dried candied water chestnut… In other words, you can expect to find treats that can satisfy your sweet tooth in the box. After helping yourself to some sweet treats, you move on to the star dishes of the festival —various kinds of cakes, both sweet and savory, like sweet rice cakes and turnip cakes.
In a way, Chinese New Year is like the Bermuda Triangle, or would it be more accurate to say, many people’s tummy BECAME the Bermuda Triangle—you indulge in a sea of scrumptious food day after day and leave the consequences (or guilt of eating too much food) afterwards. Not only is this practice unhealthy for your emotional wellbeing, a sudden surge of food intake can have an adverse impact on your body, especially when a lot of the festive foods are considered unhealthy (Dried candied everything? Enough said!). But of course, forcing yourself to stay away from all festive foods is not a remedy. To help you enjoy the festival and the upcoming feasts in a healthy way, here are some tips for you to consider:
1. Reduce the amount of intake per meal, increase the number of meals instead
During the holidays, try to split three main meals into six small meals, as it can effectively reduce your body’s burden of handling large amounts of food and sugar at each meal. If six small meals are difficult to arrange, reduce the size of the main meal slightly (about 10% to 20%) and add a snack between meals, such as a piece of fruit or one to two slices of steamed turnip cake.
2. Steam and boil instead of fry
Fried foods are common among Chinese New Year foods. To avoid excessive fat from affecting blood vessel health, it is recommended to pick and choose only one to two of your favorite fried foods. You can choose cakes without preserved sausage or meat, and steam or bake them instead of frying!
3. A healthier Chinese candy box
Instead of dried candied treats, you may replace them with ready-to-eat chestnuts, dried goji seeds, nori, unsweetened dried fruit, plain nuts, sugar-free chewing beads/mint, freeze-dried fruits and vegetables (such as okra and mushrooms)!
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