Eat first, think later. 😛
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The biggest holiday in Chinese culture is just around the corner and what’s a better way to celebrate than to feast?
But before you start stuffing your face with all the good food, here’s a guide to help you count the calories of your favourite Chinese New Year snacks:
1. Bak kwa
This Chinese New Year staple is made of dried pork and can also come in other variations, such as the chicken bak kwa.
With around 370 calories a slice, it’s one of the biggest calorie bombs during CNY. Just for comparison, the amount of calories in a slice of bak kwa is more than a bowl of white rice, which is only 225 calories.
According to The Straits Times, you’ll have to walk for one hour and 53 minutes to burn it all off.
2. Kuih bangkit
These coconut-flavoured sweet treats melt in your mouth and it’s really hard to have just one.
Based on Nutritionix, each piece of kuih bangkit is about 31 calories.
Just stand up for about 12 minutes while you chit-chat with your favourite auntie and those calories will go away just like that.
3. Prawn rolls
These mini spring rolls might be small but they are sure packed with flavour.
One of the most sought-after CNY snacks, 10 prawn rolls carry about 228 calories. I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t stop at just 10 pieces.
Based on AZcentral, you’ll need to drive for one hour and 30 minutes to burn off the calories in 10 prawn rolls. Guess I’ll be driving all the way to Penang.
4. Fried nian gao
One of my colleagues said that, you have to eat this sticky rice cake every year because if you don’t, you won’t grow taller. The name itself directly translates to ‘tall year’ and it’s usually served fried.
One piece is about 200 calories and although that is similar to the calories in a bowl of rice, nothing can really replace the salty, sweet, crispy, and gooey goodness that is nian gao.
All it takes is about two and a half hours of gardening to burn off this decadent dessert.
5. Kuih bahulu
These fluffy treats are slightly crispy on the outside and all soft on the inside. They’re a great lower-calorie alternative if you want to nibble on something sweet without feeling so guilty.
Each piece is about 34 calories and they’re usually shaped like fish during Chinese New Year as the Chinese word for fish sounds similar to the word for abundance.
All you need to do is chew on sugar-free gum for about 45 minutes to burn it all away.
6. Kuih loyang
There are many variations of this rose-shaped kuih. Some contain sesame, some are spicy, and some are just crunchy and sweet.
This snack carries about 50 calories per piece.
If you spend about seven minutes helping your mother move some furniture around the house, those calories will just shed off by itself.
7. Kuih kapit
Also known as ‘love letters’, the kuih kapit is a thin crispy crêpe-like biscuit. My mother once told me that lovers in the olden days used to write messages into these biscuit. Eating the heartfelt message was seen as a sign that the lover’s words were taken to heart.
Each piece contains about 56 calories and if you take about 20 minutes to type an e-mail, you easily bid those calories goodbye.
8. Mandarin oranges
Is it really Chinese New Year without mandarin oranges? In Hokkien, the word for mandarin orange is ‘kam’ which is also the same word for gold. Therefore, having mandarin oranges around the home during the festive season is said to bring riches into your life.
Each mandarin orange is about 50 calories and one way you can burn those calories off is by giving someone a massage for about 10 minutes.
9. Ngaku chips
Ngaku chips, or also known as arrowhead chips, are a snack that is super popular during Chinese New Year. Deep-fried in hot oil, they are are perfect for munching while enjoying your favourite holiday shows on TV.
A bowl of these is about 140 calories and you can burn those calories by dancing for half an hour to some upbeat tunes.
10. Box drinks
Come Chinese New Year season, you will see every supermarket promoting these box drinks. Common favourites are the chrysanthemum tea, winter melon tea, and lychee flavours.
There are 80 calories in a one box serving of Yeo’s Chrysanthemum Tea Drink.
Just spend 30 minutes washing your car and the calories will melt away. For more burn, you can even vacuum the interior.
At the end of the day though, don’t forget to count the memories and not the calories.
Have a prosperous Chinese New Year!
Are you prepared for CNY? Maybe these tips can help:
Find out the calories of your favourite Deepavali foods here:
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