Sun, Oct 08, 2006 - Page 2 News List

DOH warns public to take it easy on eating mooncakes

By Angelica Oung  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Department of Health (DOH) has urged the public to enjoy speciality food items in moderation during this year's Mid-Autumn Festival holidays.

For many Taiwanese, the Mid-Autumn Festival period is incomplete without treats such as mooncakes.

However, the department issued a warning on Friday that mooncakes are a high-calorie food that must be consumed in moderation, especially for those with chronic diseases or weight problems.

Those with high blood cholesterol are warned to stay away completely from mooncakes with egg yolk or fatty meat fillings, as just one yolk can contain 250mg of cholesterol.

The public was also reminded that healthy alternative mooncakes are now available -- including steamed, sugar-free or low-fat mooncakes.

Barbecues are also a much-loved tradition over the Mid-Autumn Festival period. In order to eat barbecue food that is healthy as well as tasty, the DOH recommended putting more vegetables than meat on kebab skewers and diluting barbecue sauce with water.

People should also put a layer of foil between their food and the coals to prevent carcinogens from forming on the food. The DOH warning also advised against eating processed meats and drinking sugary beverages.

Even the seemingly healthy pomelo did not escape criticism. Despite being high in fiber and vitamin C, just two or three slices of pomelo contains 60 calories.

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