TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As the Mid-Autumn Festival is rapidly approaching and mooncakes will soon be in abundance, a Taiwanese nutritionist is advocating eating the pastries in moderation since they pack up to 1,000 calories each.
Yang Ling-ling (楊玲玲), a professor of health management at Huafan University in New Taipei City, says that one mooncake contains 500 to 1,000 calories and is equivalent to two bowls of white rice, or in Western terms, a Double Whopper with cheese (1,070 calories), reported the Liberty Times. She says that because many Taiwanese suffer from the "three highs"-- high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar -- mooncakes should be divided into smaller portions and eaten with healthy servings of vegetables.
Yang said that between mooncakes and all the barbequed food that Taiwanese scarf down during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, the amount of calories they consume each day is astonishing. However, because many Taiwanese are afflicted by the "three highs," Yang recommends taking a healthier approach to the three meals of the day during this festival to reduce their burden on the body.
For breakfast, Yang recommends a salad of fruits and vegetables, such as asparagus and grapefruit. During lunch, Yang suggests turning mooncakes into hors d'oeuvres by cutting them into quarters or thirds and using a toothpick to place slices of lettuce, cucumbers, pineapples, bananas, and tomatoes on top, according to the report.
Although Taiwanese love to eat barbeque for dinner during the holiday, Yang recommends switching to hot pot instead. She recommends blanching the vegetables before cooking them in the hot pot, avoiding processed foods, and including healthy choices such as okra, sponge gourd, shitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, seaweed, and seasonal fruits and vegetables, reported the Liberty Times.
Yang said that the important thing is to consume more foods that are high in fiber while taking the opportunity to reunite with family members and enjoy the festival together.