Taipei Dept. of Health offers healthy BBQ tips for Mid-Autumn Festival

Nutritionist Tu Ming-hui suggests only fresh ingredients be used and to avoid processed foods

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(Wikimedia Commons photo)

(Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As barbecuing has become a popular pastime of families in Taiwan during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, Taipei Department of Health (DOH) has offered the public timely tips for a healthy BBQ ahead of the festival.

The DOH invited nutritionist Tu Ming-hui (杜明徽) from the Renai branch of the Taipei City Hospital to offer culinary tips on barbecuing, which were published in a news release on the DOH website on Sept. 2.

High fiber, low fat, and less sauce

Tu suggests that only fresh ingredients such as lean meat (pork loin), fish, and vegetables (king oyster mushroom, baby corn, and sweet pepper) be used instead of processed foods. Moreover, the nutritionist also suggests that people “eat more vegetables to stimulate bowel movement and increase the feeling of satiety, and minimize the intake of meats or staple food (such as toast) in order to lower the burden on their digestive system.”

Change the way you cook and drink lots of water

Tu suggests that thicker cuts of meat be blanched or boiled in water before grilling to prevent food poisoning from undercooked meat. “This method also helps to prevent the generation of carcinogens due to charring of food." Tu also advises the public not to drink beverages with excessive sugar content because “it will only make you thirstier.” The nutritionist recommends non-sugary beverages such as tea in order to really quench thirst.

The refreshing seasonal jelly drink made from fresh pitaya and agar-agar is recommended. "Rich in dietary fibers, the drink facilitates bowel movements, increases the feeling of satiation, and decreases excessive meat," the release says.

Only grill what you can eat and eat in moderation

People are advised to only grill what they can eat and eat in moderation. “Avoid excessive calorie intake to enjoy the festive ambiance while minimizing kitchen waste and food waste,” says Tu.

The DOH urges the public to clean all the ingredients thoroughly before barbecuing, and to separate cooked food from raw ingredients by using different containers and tongs in order to prevent cross-contamination.

Additionally, raw food cannot be exposed to room temperature for too long, and it is important to make sure food is cooked thoroughly to avoid food poisoning, the department adds.