Tuesday, 24 January 2012

News Brief: Nutritionist offers "4 less; 1 more" tip for holiday cooking

"An easy to remember slogan when cooking is ‘four less and one more,’” said Hung Ruo-pu (洪若樸), a senior nutritionist at Taipei City Hospital’s Zhongxiao Branch, the Taipei Times reports today (full article here).

Housewives [sic] are urged to cut down on sodium and add more fiber to their diets during the Lunar New Year, a period when an average person can easily put on a few kilograms because of excessive eating and lack of physical activity.
The idea is less sauce, less fried food, less oil, less stewing and more fiber, Hung said, adding that most traditional Lunar New Year recipes, which are greasy, usually follow the opposite rules.

However, changing the rules of cooking does not mean compromising the taste, said Hung. For gastronomes with a preference for stronger seasoning, low-calorie condiments and spices, such as white vinegar, garlic, scallion, parsley, and an assortment of Chinese herbs, can be used extensively as guilt-free solutions to retain flavors, she said.

Sauces that are either high in calories or sodium, like tomato paste, barbecue sauce and salad dressing, should be shelved or used minimally, she added.

As for reducing oil and fat, she suggested altering the method of cooking. “Change deep frying and stir frying to steaming and water boiling, and you can save yourself the worry of shedding weight after the holidays,” Hung said.

The nutritionist also warned that holiday snacks like peanuts, pumpkin seeds and sesame cookies contain significant amounts of fat, so one should be extra careful not to overeat these foods. Seasonal fruits like oranges and apples are rich in vitamins and fiber and are therefore highly recommended as snacks, Hung added.

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