Happy Mid-Autumn everyone!! If there was any day to chow down on moon cakes, this would be it! But if you’re anything like me, you might be wondering: are mooncakes really that unhealthy?
Let’s start with the nutritional info of the two most popular types of mooncake: (those who want to eat without guilt, look away now)
Mini white lotus seed paste moon cake with yolk from Landmark Mandarin Oriental
- 60 grams (1 piece)
- 246 calories
- 4.2 grams protein
- 12.3 grams fat (saturated 2.6 grams)
- 29.6 grams carbs (17.6 grams sugar)
- 32 mg sodium
Mini egg custard moon cake from Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
- per 60 grams
- 393.6 calories
- 6.7 grams protein
- 19.6 grams fat (12.4 grams saturated)
- 47 grams carbs (21.4 grams sugar)
- 51 mg sodium
From that, we can assume that any mini mooncake has roughly 250-400 calories, 12-20 grams fat and 15-20 grams sugar. As for regular mooncakes, you’re looking at up to 800 calories, 40 grams of fat and 60 grams of sugar!! Now, for the ingredients…
Lotus seed paste: “When cooked in clear soups, lotus seeds are believed in Chinese medicine to “clear heat” (清熱) and be particularly nutritious and restorative to one’s health.” (Thanks, Wiki!) However, when made into a paste and loaded with sugar, the benefits are probably lost.
Duck egg yolk: Duck eggs have twice the nutritional value of a chicken’s egg, have more omega 3 fatty acids and are an alkaline producing food (vs. chicken eggs that leave the body more acidic). On the other hand, one duck egg yolk has a day’s worth of cholesterol! ‘Nuff said. (Source)
Egg custard: Made with eggs, cream and sugar — who are we kidding? It sure is tasty though, especially when wrapped in a flaky pastry crust. Mmmm…
Mooncakes are obviously unhealthy, but that’s no reason to stop eating them. Here are my tips on how to indulge carefully:
- Never finish a whole mooncake.
- Skip the egg yolks (or eat only part of it).
- Have the mooncake as a meal replacement (breakfast/lunch) and wash it down with some hot tea or fresh pressed vegetable juice.