Chinese New Year Snacks: The Calorie Culprits
Weight Management

Chinese New Year Snacks: The Calorie Culprits


6 February 2016


During Chinese New Year, gathering with your beloved family and friends and catching up over deliciously addictive New Year treats is an inevitable part of the festivities - however, many can be easily carried away by the atmosphere of it all.

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Over-indulging in the various calorie bombs that are hidden under the guise of yummy New Year tid-bits are a common occurrence. Unfortunately, only upon returning to our daily routines in school or work do we realise the weight gain from all the munching! So, should you or should you not reach for the New Year snacks? Although we can’t make the decision for you, let’s see how we’re able to help you make healthier options while still enjoying the New Year delights!

How many calories are in your New Year cookies?

Smaller than the size of our palms yet still packing a delicious punch, do these tiny cookies really wreak such havoc on our bodies after having just a few?

Did you know that four small, unsuspecting peanut cookies harbour as many calories as a bowl of white rice, which is approximately 200 calories? More food for thought is that four slices of the sweet, sticky Nian Gao treat equals an entire meal - a bowl of Curry Chicken Noodles with an Iced Coffee on the side to boot. Bak Kwa, which is loved by everyone of all ages, shares the same calorific value with a plate of fried rice per piece of it consumed. Moreover, chatting with your guests or relatives after a meal is a pretty standard sight during the New Year, and so is munching on some snacks throughout the conversation too. Let’s put things into perspective – if we’re eating snacks way too frequently while enjoying the festivities, it’s a no-brainer why we’re piling on the pounds during this period!

So bottom line – To Eat Or Not To Eat?

  • Be Cautious In Choosing Your Cookies

Although New Year cookies are the definite culprits when it comes to festive weight gain, it doesn’t mean we need to omit them entirely. Be smart in your selections and choose wisely; for example, if you’re craving for something sweet, instead of going for the 150-calorie apiece Nian Gao, opt for a piece of Kuih Kapit, which has 56 calories in one piece. Before making a decision about which treat to savour, remember to take into account the calorie values of the snacks as well as proper portion control, or it will all add up!

  • Timing Is Key

Although you’ll be having tons of gatherings during the New Year, remember to eat meals at regular intervals. Reaching for the cookies for snacking before meals will trigger us to consume more as we’re trying to directly fulfill our hunger pangs from there on. It may also lead to the decision of us substituting our main meals with the cookies, which are energy-dense but have zero nutritional value.

  • Label Your Snacks

You might not be tempted to polish off that whole container of prawn crackers if you knew how many calories it has per serving! Information plays a crucial role here, and it’s more difficult to ignore the facts if it’s staring you straight in the face. Print out the energy and nutritional values of each batch of cookies you have available and paste it on the body of the container. It serves as a constant reminder of how much you’re ingesting every time you reach for the snack, and it’ll make you think twice before you consume. It may sound torturous, but going on the treadmill for hours on end to burn all the calories off is even more so!

Have a homemade snack that is high in fibre and also a healthy, guilt-free bite instead, such as Home-made Peanut Butter Coconut Granola Bars! With oats in place of the regular baked flour found in so many of the New Year treats, and grated coconut and honey to add in a dash of sweetness without the negative attributes of white sugar, it’s not only a low-calorie sweet treat, it’s also extremely healthy too! It’s also easy to make – all you need to do is prepare the ingredients, mix them well together, freeze, and slice it to your fancy. Oats are high in fibre, and not only help to lower fat, but also to maintain blood glucose levels. It’s also a great snack to share with your loved ones – if you’re feeling rather peckish, two slabs is sufficient to satiate those hunger pangs. However, as with most eating tips and guides, moderation is key. Click here for the full recipe.

Use the below as an easy reference guide to keep you on the straight and narrow!


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