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Thursday, Feb 22, 2024

High and lows of healthy family reunion dinners

High and lows of healthy family reunion dinners

Citizens can cook a healthy family reunion dinner by following the "three lows and one high" diet - low in oil, salt and sugar and high in fiber, a Hospital Authority dietitian said.
Chanel Mo Kee-yu said overeating during the Lunar New Year holiday has become a significant health hazard for Hongkongers.

"We've found that patients who overate or didn't control their choice of food gained an average of one to two kilograms in weight," Mo said.

"For people who have diabetes, [overeating] may prevent them from automatically regulating their blood sugar levels."

The dietitian recommended a health menu for this year's reunion meal which includes six dishes: chicken fillet with lemongrass, steamed tofu with scallops, vegetarian soup with apple, corn and cashew nuts, stir-fried broccoli with minced meat and vegetables, rice with mushrooms and vegetables and small dough balls with red dates and peach gelatin.

All these dishes follow the "three low and one high" diet.

Mo reminded people that pastries should not be a substitute for regular meals and to avoid overconsuming desserts and sugary drinks.

She added that people should be careful about their calorie intake. An adult needs around 2,000 calories a day. If they eat an extra 500 calories daily - the equivalent of three rice cakes or one piece of a traditional deep-fried Lunar Near Year snack "siu hau zou" - they could gain one pound in weight in a week.

For diabetics, Mo said they should limit white rice to five tablespoons per meal and lessen that amount if there are other high-starch foods in the dish.

As a substitute for sugar, foods such as water chestnuts are a good choice because they are "rich in fiber which is filling," Mo said. Consuming large amounts of red meat can lead to elevated blood lipid levels which increases the risk of strokes. And seafood lovers should be aware of the high cholesterol levels in foods like shrimp and crab, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, she said.

Mo also said that it is easier to maintain a healthy diet by cooking at home and choosing healthy ingredients.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Board's Year of the Rabbit light installations along Victoria Harbour - with interactive checkpoints along Tamar, Wan Chai, Central and Tsim Sha Tsui - will operate between 10am to 10pm during the holidays.

And Citizens can also visit the Hong Kong Palace Museum during the Lunar New Year to see some 85 priceless treasures from the Beijing Palace Museum.

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