Mooncakes, enjoyed during the Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as the Mooncake Festival), come in a wide variety of flavours and fillings. Dietitian Javier Won from Sengkang Community Hospital (SKCH) offers tips on how to enjoy them sensibly.
Although mooncakes come in different types and tastes, they share a similarity – they generally contain high calories, carbohydrates and fats. There is also hardly any fibre, protein or vitamins in them, which are important components of a balanced diet.
“Mooncakes overload our body but have little nutritional value. It is advisable that we eat them as an occasional treat instead of taking them as a main meal, especially for people with diabetes,” said Javier Won, a Dietitian from
Sengkang Community Hospital (SKCH). SKCH is managed by
SingHealth Community Hospitals, a member of the
“Even with the low-sugar options, we should practise moderation when indulging in mooncakes,” he added.
Tips to enjoy mooncakes sensibly
1. Share it as a dessert
A good rule of thumb is to practise portion control. Try to limit yourself to one-eighth of an average-sized mooncake and share the rest with those around you. Don’t eat on an empty stomach as this may lead to overeating. Try having the mooncake as a dessert after a healthy balanced meal instead.
2. Reduce your carbohydrates intake
If you plan to eat a piece of mooncake as a sweet treat after your meal, try cutting down a quarter of rice or noodle from your bowl. This will prevent you from consuming excess carbohydrates and prevents a hike in blood sugar levels for those with diabetes.
3. Compare and choose wisely
Snow skin mooncakes generally contain less calories compared to the traditional ones. However, this may not be the case, depending on the fillings; an average-sized durian snow skin mooncake can contain up to 900kcal of calories. Compare the nutritional values and ingredient list before purchasing your mooncake and go for healthier options like the low-sugar or low-fat ones.
4. Have them with non-sweetened drinks
Mooncakes are already packed with sugar. Quench your thirst with drinks such as traditional Chinese tea or non-sweetened green tea. Tea not only contains antioxidants but is a fragrant and perfect pairing for this sweet treat.