Sat, Feb 02, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Agency offers tips on healthy holiday eating

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

An adult can easily gain about 2.2kg from overeating during the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday and would have to run 31km to burn the extra calories, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said, as it urged people to control their food intake and eat healthily.

Many traditional Lunar New Year’s dishes, such as Buddha Jumps Over the Wall (佛跳牆), chicken soup, braised pork hock, sweet and sour fish, braised pork balls (獅子頭), rice pudding and eight treasures porridge (八寶粥), are deep fried, battered or covered in starch-thickened sauces, making them high-calorie foods.

The agency on Sunday said that it is common for people to eat up to 2,600 calories on Lunar New Year’s Eve alone — far more than the 1,800 calories per day or 700 calories for dinner that a 60kg adult doing sedentary work needs.

To burn off the extra 1,900 calories, a person would have to run at a speed of 8kph for 31km, it said.

If a person were to eat an extra 1,900 calories per day for nine consecutive days, they would gain about 2.2kg by the time the holiday is over.

A person would have to ride a bicycle at a speed of 10kph for 713km — about the distance of riding from Taipei to Pingtung, then to Hualien — to burn the extra calories, it added.

The agency encouraged people to make or order dishes that are low in fat, sugar and salt, and high in fiber.

It suggested choosing more mixed and whole grains and enjoying them in their true whole-grain state, instead of refined starch products that are often high in sugar and fat; eating high-protein food, such as beans, fish, eggs and meat, only about the size of a palm per meal; and selecting fresh shrimps, squid, chicken and other low-fat meat instead of processed meat.

It also recommended eating more steamed, boiled or cold-dressed food instead of food that is deep fried, battered or covered in sweet and sour sauce; eating vegetables about the size of one-and-a-half fists and preferably two to three types of vegetables per meal; eating fruit about the size of a fist per meal; and drinking more water instead of sweetened beverages.

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