Health issue: a warning over moon cakes


As the Mid-Autumn Festival approaches, the Department of Health and nutritionists are advising people not to consume too many moon cakes, as a single small cake can contain as many calories as a bowl of rice. Eating moon cakes made of glutinous rice flour and filled with bean paste, dried fruit and a wide variety of other foods is a popular way to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in Shanghai China. However, eating too many moon cakes can be bad for one’s waistline.

A nutritionist said that as moon cakes are mainly made with flour, sugar and butter, a little piece of egg yolk-filled moon cake weighing about 60g can contain up to 270 calories. As an example, a woman weighing 55kg would have to power walk for an hour to burn off the amount of calories she consumed in a 60g moon cake filled with dried dates or an egg yolk — typical fillings in a moon cake. Nutritionist said “Larger moon cakes … such as Cantonese moon cakes and cakes made from green bean, can contain up to 450 calories” and “Four hundred and fifty calories is comparable to more than half a lunchbox meal”.

Aside from moon cakes, many people also celebrate the festival by eating barbequed and processed meat, which are high in calories and sodium, eating too much of such foods will not only lead to weight gain, but consuming more sodium than is recommended on a daily basis can also strain the kidneys and the cardiovascular system.

About Moon Cake

The moon cake, also called "walnut cake", "palace cake", "small cake", "moon pastry" and "reunion cake" etc, is a special pastry eaten on traditional Chinese Mid-autumn Festival. The annual festival custom of a whole family getting together, eating moon cakes and enjoying the moon dates back thousands of years.

The round moon cake looks exactly like the full moon in the night sky. More importantly, it symbolizes a family get-together and reflects the family culture and the special importance Chinese people attaching to the family reunion. The moon cake is not just a kind of food, but more of a cultural element deeply penetrated into Chinese people’s hearts, symbolizing family reunion and embodying spiritual feelings. The moon cake is undoubtedly a key element in the Chinese culture.

Do you know the nutritional value of a mooncake with double yolks and lotus seed paste?

Health experts say a 190-gram mooncake has six tablespoons of sugar plus three tablespoons of oil. Despite its small size, the caloric content of a mooncake is as high as 800 calories, which is as much as a plate of rice with cubed pork in sweet corn sauce, a bowl of vegetable soup and a cup of iced milk tea.

Eating one mooncake gives you as much cholesterol as that found in four egg yolks.

Snowy mooncakes, ice cream mooncakes and vegetarian mooncakes are usually lower in fat, but each still contains one to two tablespoons of oil. Therefore, mooncake lovers should limit themselves to eating no more than a quarter of a mooncake a day.

To avoid bacterial growth, remember to keep moon akes in the fridge and eat them before they expire.


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