As Chinese New Year is around the corner, many people would like to buy festive foods to enjoy with family and friends. When celebrating the coming of the New Year, you should observe safe and healthy eating and here are some tips on purchasing and eating festive cakes and snacks:
Tips for purchasing non-packaged festive food
Patronise reliable retailers with good hygienic conditions. When buying non-packaged festive snacks such as sweetened lotus seeds, nuts and melon seeds, take extra care on hygienic conditions of food containers and staff personal hygiene. Choose food products with natural colour. Do not buy brightly-white pistachio for they may have been bleached and melon seeds with unnatural gloss for they may have been added with mineral oil and can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
Tips for purchasing pre-packaged festive food
When buying pre-packaged cakes and snacks, check expiry dates and make sure that the packages are intact. Nutrient content of food is affected by the ingredients and preparation methods used. Traditional festive cakes are not only usually rich in carbohydrates but also high in energy and fat. For popular items such as turnip cakes, some of them use Chinese preserved sausages and meats, thus containing more energy and fat. Also, there are some Chinese puddings made with coconut oil or lard, which is high in saturated fat. Melon seeds and nuts, which are commonly found in candy boxes, are high in fat. For the preserved or processed ones, such as soy sauce melon seeds and baked salted peanuts, they also have high sodium content and you should bear in mind. Therefore, consumers should make use of nutrition labels for comparing different products and choosing healthy festive cakes and snacks.
Tips for eating festive food
After purchasing festive cakes, you should go home quickly and store them in the fridge. Pay attention to expiry dates and cook them thoroughly before consumption. Stop eating those with abnormal smell or taste or mould and discard them. Do not keep nuts and melon seeds for a long time and never eat mouldy ones. During Chinese New Year, always maintain a balanced diet and adopt the "3 low" principle to avoid any foods high in fat, sugars or sodium. Before consuming the food, you can use the information on nutrition labels to calculate your nutrient intake and compare with the daily intake upper limits for control of food intake. The most important thing is to follow the healthy eating principle for enjoying a nutritious year ahead.
|Nutrient||Daily Intake Upper Limit (Based on a 2000-kcal diet)|
|Total Fat||60 g|
|Saturated Fat||20 g|
|Trans Fat||2.2 g|