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Mooncake insanity: Why overindulging on these festive treats could be a well being hazard


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SINGAPORE: Mooncakes may possibly be bodily modest, but they can have a big effect on your waistline – just one particular could have the very same variety of energy as a complete food.

For instance, an typical-measurement 192g baked lotus mooncake with two egg yolks has about 890 energy, according to the Wellbeing Promotion Board’s (HPB) nutrient evaluation.

That is equivalent to about 4 bowls of rice, said Ms Bibi Chia, principal dietitian at Raffles Diabetes and Endocrine Centre. She included that one particular of these mooncakes has the very same amount of money of sugar as about 1.5 cans of cola.

Other forms of mooncakes, like people included in snowskin, do not fare a lot superior. A bite-measurement portion of an eighth of a snowskin mooncake is truly worth ninety three energy, which functions out to about fifty percent a bowl of rice.

All this spells bad news for people today wanting to take pleasure in the delicious treats of the Mid-Autumn Competition though nonetheless adhering to a balanced diet regime. The problem can be further intensified with a lot more uncommon fillings like durian and champagne truffle, which are potentially sweeter or a lot more calorie-laden.

So, with the war on diabetic issues staying stepped up in Singapore, is it time to reasonable how numerous mooncakes we are munching on? 


Main dietitian at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Natalie Goh said the sugar used to make mooncake is generally the refined variety. While sugar content varies relying on the unique wide range, people with a lot more nuts or egg yolks in the filling commonly have a lot less sugar when compared with a plain lotus, red bean or yam paste variation, she said.

“Mooncakes are typically regarded as unhealthy simply because of the high calorie, sugar and fats content,” she said. 

Just one way to assess how balanced a mooncake is is to glimpse at its glycemic index (GI). The GI measures how a carbohydrate-containing foods raises blood glucose degree. A lower GI content is superior, primarily for diabetic issues individuals.

Bakerzin mooncakes with nuts and seeds. (Photograph: Bazerzin)

Information on the GI of mooncakes is confined, but in any case, Ms Goh said that the index alone is not a great measurement to make a decision if the foods is balanced or suitable for another person with diabetic issues. 

Describing why, she when compared a low-sugar lotus seed paste mooncake with pine nuts to a low-sugar lotus seed paste mooncake with salted egg yolk.

While they have the very same amount of money of carbs for every serving, a 22g piece – about one particular-eighth of a mooncake – of the one particular with pine nuts has a better GI of 40 when compared to thirty in the salted egg yolk mooncake, she said.

“This doesn’t imply the mooncake with pine nuts is a lot less balanced. The fats in nuts are of unsaturated variety, a superior variety of fats than saturated fats. Mooncakes with salted egg yolk have a lot more sodium. So when picking out mooncakes, it is about balancing alternative and amount of money,” she said.

While mooncakes might be tempting in their hues of pink, yellow and green, and fairly layouts and packaging, dietitians advocate feeding on just a modest portion.

Ms Chia proposed chopping the mooncake into eight parts to share with others, and to select people with a lot less sugar or with nuts and seeds.

Nutritionist Karin Reiter advised creating mooncakes at dwelling with purely natural sugar substitutes like Stevia, or heading for a walk quickly soon after possessing a modest portion in purchase to regulate any spike in blood glucose ranges. In diabetic individuals, high blood glucose ranges soon after a food has been connected to coronary heart illness.

Low-SUGAR MOONCAKE Possibilities Available

While mooncakes must be consumed in moderation, Ms Goh pointed out that there are a lot more low-sugar baked mooncakes readily available when compared with five to ten years ago. 

The Ritz-Carlton lodge has low-sugar mooncake alternate options. (Photograph: Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore)

Just one retailer who has started out giving much healthier alternate options is Bakerzin. This yr, all Bakerzin mooncakes have been built with low-sugar lotus paste, a spokesman said.

“A good deal of time and hard work is put in on exploring and growth hence this is the 1st yr we have succeeded in introducing low-sugar mooncakes as a much healthier selections,” he said, including that it took a lot more than 6 months to a yr to get it right.

He said that one particular distinctive variation in the low-sugar mooncakes is that they “do not linger in the aftertaste”.

He said that the introduction of low-sugar mooncakes arrived soon after opinions from customers inquiring for much healthier selections, and coincides with the Government’s contact to battle diabetic issues.

Shangri-La Lodge Singapore’s Chinese cafe Shang Palace has been promoting low-sugar baked mooncakes for the past two years. These consist of the low-sugar white lotus seed paste with quarter yolk, red bean with almond and low-sugar white lotus seed paste with quarter yolk.

They have thirty for every cent a lot less sugar than normal mooncakes, a spokesperson said. The mooncakes are built applying maltitol, a purely natural sugar alcoholic beverages in its place of standard sugar. Maltitol has low strength and does not simply sort fats and does not stimulate the body’s insulin secretion, and hence will not bring about blood sugar ranges to spike, she included.

Shangri-La Lodge Singapore has a low-sugar plain white lotus with quarter yolk mooncake. (Photograph: Shangi-La Lodge Singapore)

“We supplied the low-sugar mooncake selections last yr, to deal with some guests’ tastes on much healthier selections. This yr, we promoted this choice a lot more, to deal with the trend on total well being and wellness,” she said.

The Ritz-Carlton Singapore, which said the lotus seed paste used to make its standard mooncakes have reduced sugar, this yr launched the white lotus seed paste with five grains mooncakes.

“The addition of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, oats and sesame seeds to the white lotus seed paste makes this new flavour a much healthier and nuttier choice for people who take pleasure in standard baked mooncakes,” the lodge said.

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