Taipei-based nutritionists and other experts are urging the public to make health-conscious food choices during the Lunar New Year holiday.
People should avoid consuming large amounts of meat or seafood, and choose mushrooms, vegetables, fruits and other fiber-rich ingredients in their Lunar New Year dishes, Taipei Municipal Wanfang Hospital nutrition department director Wei Pin-hui (魏賓慧) said.
Calorie intake can be reduced by steaming or boiling food, she said.
People should select ingredients that are in season and locally grown, limit their consumption of processed foods and eat more vegetables than meat, said Yang Ling-ling (楊玲玲), an honorary professor at Taipei Medical University’s Graduate Institute of Pharmacognosy and a member of Taipei’s food safety committee.
For hotpots, the traditional meat or seafood-based soup base contains higher levels of fat and salt than vegetable broths, while grated radish, ginger, coriander and basil can be combined for a dipping sauce instead of using the Taiwanese-style satay sauce, which contains 109 calories per tablespoon, Yang said.
When purchasing snacks, people should choose products with clear nutrition labels, preferably unflavored ones, said Ho Yi-chen (何宜蓁), a nutritionist at Taipei City Hospital’s Zhongxing branch.
Smaller snack packages are a better choice than larger packages, which are difficult to finish in one sitting and can easily go bad if they are not stored correctly, Ho said.
The Taipei Department of Health said that people should maintain a healthy diet by consuming less oil, sugar, salt and meat and more fiber during the Lunar New Year holiday, while leftovers should be reheated and consumed as soon as possible.
People should avoid buying food products with unclear labels, items from unknown sources and foods that are too brightly colored, the agency said.Thinkhealthyoverholiday:experts