Health Tips, Heart & Brain

Inventory of Health Traps in Chinese New Year Food: Three Tips to Eat Smart and Safeguard Your Annual Health Plan

February 6, 2024

During the Lunar New Year, apart from taking time off and exchanging New Year’s greetings, the main activity is undoubtedly eating, eating, and more eating! When returning home for the New Year, families will prepare various types of New Year’s food. Rice cakes, radish cakes, taro cakes, and other appetisers are essential, along with sweetened winter melon, sweet egg twists, sesame balls, and other snacks. As a main course, there’s also a “poon choi” dish to ensure a prosperous and bountiful year! However, eating high-sugar, high-fat, high-calorie food like this for several consecutive days can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of diseases. This article will take stock of the nutritional components of various New Year’s foods and teach you how to eat smart during the New Year, safeguarding your annual health plan!


Inventory of the Three Most Sinful Chinese New Year Foods:

Golden Cake

Golden Cake is one of the classics among Chinese New Year foods. Originally a dessert from Indonesia, it is soft and chewy with a golden hue and a delightful coconut flavor. However, it is also the prime representative of high sugar, high fat, and high-calorie content! Golden Cake is made with coconut milk, which contains a significant amount of sugar and fat. Excessive consumption can lead to elevated carbohydrate and fat accumulation. Just two slices of Golden Cake contain about 280 calories, which is equivalent to one bowl of rice!

Cheese Rice Cake

Cheese Rice Cake is a popular variation of rice cakes in recent years, similar to the Japanese cheese rice cake snack. Each bite has a gooey cheese filling. However, its calorie and fat content are quite astonishing, with approximately 256 calories for 2 slices! Both coconut milk and cheese are high-calorie ingredients, and excessive consumption can lead to an excessive calorie intake and weight gain.

Poon Choi

Poon Choi is a rich and elaborate dish. Although it contains vegetables as a base, the presence of fatty meat and sauce in the dish results in a high amount of fat. The other ingredients absorb the fats, and a pot of Prosperity Pot for about 10 people can contain up to 10,000 calories. Consuming too much can potentially increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.


To provide a clearer understanding of the nutritional components of Chinese New Year foods, here are some examples of the sugar, fat, and calorie content in common New Year foods:

Please note that the serving sizes mentioned above may vary, and the values provided are approximate. These examples give you an idea of the sugar, fat, and calorie content in these common New Year foods.


During the New Year celebrations, it’s common to unknowingly consume excessive amounts of high-sugar, high-fat, and high-calorie foods, which can potentially lead to various health risks.

1) Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Problems

High-sugar, high-fat, and high-calorie foods can disrupt fat metabolism or contribute to conditions like obesity, leading to the accumulation of plaque in blood vessels and negatively impacting cardiovascular health.

2) Weight Gain

According to the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety, the daily energy requirements for adult males and females with low physical activity levels are approximately 2400 and 2100 kilocalories, respectively. Consuming high-calorie foods can easily result in excessive calorie intake, equivalent to consuming multiple bowls of rice. During the New Year, when people often stay at home to visit and engage in less physical activity, the combination of high-calorie intake and lack of exercise can lead to weight gain. Obesity is a risk factor for various chronic diseases.

3) Increased Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

Excessive intake of high-sugar, high-fat, and high-calorie foods can increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, which refers to a cluster of conditions that can contribute to an increased burden of cardiovascular health.

4) Increased Risk of Chronic Diseases

Long-term consumption of high-sugar foods can increase the risk of chronic diseases. Excessive intake of carbohydrates can lead to abdominal obesity, which is closely associated with metabolic abnormalities. It slows down the breakdown and conversion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, leading to the accumulation of carbohydrates in the body. High sugar intake can trigger cellular inflammation and oxidative stress, placing a burden on organs such as the liver and accelerating aging. These conditions are not necessarily age-related and should be a concern for individuals of all ages.

5) Digestive Discomfort

During the New Year period, changes in eating habits and portion sizes can lead to digestive discomfort, including feelings of fullness, bloating, and gastrointestinal gas. This can affect appetite and disrupt the normal functioning of the digestive system.


Nutritionist teaches you three healthy eating methods for the New Year:


1) Pay attention to eating more vegetables: Increasing vegetable intake can provide rich vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber while reducing the intake of high-calorie and high-sugar foods. When choosing vegetables, opt for those high in dietary fiber, such as mushrooms and root vegetables like oyster mushrooms, beech mushrooms, radishes, sweet potatoes, and celery. Including leafy greens is also recommended, and cooking them in plain water is healthier.

2) Reduce oil and sugar intake: Replace high-calorie foods with healthier alternatives, such as opting for nuts instead of candies. In terms of dishes, many New Year dishes are often coated with sauces that are high in fats and seasonings. Instead, try dishes like “yu sheng” (raw fish salad) and vegetable stir-fries to replace oil-heavy dishes. Consider choosing lower-fat “poon choi” (treasure pot) options and minimize the use of thickened sauces.

3) Supplement balanced nutrition in moderation: During the New Year, it’s common to consume larger quantities of food, which can lead to food stagnation and an imbalanced diet with high intake of oily and sugary foods. It’s important to supplement your diet with adequate amounts of vitamins and other nutrients to ensure smooth body functioning.


New Year’s health product recommendations suitable for personal use and gifting:

1) For high sugar conditions: GNC Gluco-Guard Formula

This formula contains multiple effective carbohydrate control ingredients and only needs to be taken before meals. Clinically proven to reduce carbohydrate levels in body by 40% within 30 minutes, it also helps prolong satiety, block carbohydrate absorption, promote carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and stabilize post-meal carbohydrate levels.

2) Say goodbye to high fat worries: GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil

A heart-protecting choice, this product contains triple the concentration of Omega-3 extracted using a five-step refining method. It effectively cleanses blood vessels, intercepts “three highs”, strengthens joints, and is suitable for family and friends who care about cardiovascular health.

3) Say goodbye to high calories: GNC THERMOSLIM®

Take 2 capsules daily to effectively control appetite, avoid overeating, break down stubborn body fat, target subcutaneous and visceral fat, boost metabolism, and accelerate fat burning. Clinically proven fat-burning power increased by 60%.

4) For digestive discomfort caused by overeating: GNC Probiotic SOL 25B Enzymes

During the New Year, it’s easy to experience indigestion and bloating. The gut cleansing formula containing 25 billion Lab4 patented probiotics helps cleanse the intestines, promote bowel movements, and enhance immune function.



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