Healthy Eating During Chinese New Year

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Chinese New Year is just around the corner! This is the time of the year where family members and relatives get together and reunite to celebrate the Lunar New Year, and of course along with various types of delicious foods and snacks.

This festive period is also the time where uncontrolled or excessive eating can happen. Coupled with reduced physical activity, this can lead to unwanted weight gain and put additional burden to the body.

Did you know that an additional 500 kcal of food intake per day would cause 0.5kg-1kg of weight gain within a week? Here’s a list of common CNY snacks that most of us would indulge in, and the respective portion that could easily make up to 500 kcal!

Types of food and calorie count

Snacks Calories
Bak kwa 1½ piece (135g) 500 kcal
Cashew nuts/ peanuts/ pistachios (roasted) 1 bowl (90g) 500 kcal
Deep fried arrow head 1 bowl (110g) 500 kcal
Kua-ci 1 bowl (150g) 500 kcal
Prawn crackers 6 big pieces (120g) 500 kcal
Prawn rolls 1 bowl (100g) 500 kcal
Pineapple tarts 14 pieces (100g) 500 kcal
Crispy honeycomb cookies 10 pieces (100g) 500 kcal
Peanut cookies 10 pieces (100g) 500 kcal
Nian gao fritters 2½ pieces (115g) 500 kcal

In case you are wondering how much physical activity you need to do in order to burn that 500 kcal off before it adds on to your waistline, here are some examples:

Types of physical activities to burn off that CNY snack!

Physical activity Duration needed to burn 500 kcal
Jogging (9.6km/hour) 45 minutes
Cycling (21km/hour) 1 hour
Football 1 hour
Swimming 1 hour
Basketball 1 hour 15 minutes
Volleyball 2 hours
Simple household chores 2 hours
Ballroom dancing 2 hours 15 minutes
Walking (3.2km/hour) 2 hours 30 minutes

So while enjoying the festive season, do not forget to keep yourself active to prevent undesirable weight gain that you may regret on later.

You are also encouraged to practice these 5 healthy tips during Chinese New Year:

1. Consume more vegetables during mealtimes. This can prevent you from overeating other foods that are high in calories and fats.

2. Eat more fish instead of red meat such as beef and pork as fish contains less fat and cholesterol.

3. Prepare food using healthier cooking methods such as boiling, grilling, steaming, baking, roasting or stir-frying with less oil usage to reduce total fat consumption.

4. Consume fresh fruits over others as a healthier choice of dessert.

5. Limit sugary drinks to one serving per day and always have plain water available all the time.

In a nutshell, healthy eating is definitely possible during Chinese New Year. Eat and drink smart so that you can enjoy the food guilt-free without compromising your health. Cheers to a healthier New Year and prosperity!

Should you require any dietetics and nutritional advice, feel free to speak to any of our dietitians at:

Dietetics & Nutrition Services

1st Floor, Tower B, Sunway Medical Centre
+603-7491 9191 (ext. 71152)


  1. Ministry of Health Malaysia. Healthy Eating the Key to Prosperity.
  2. Nutrient Composition of Malaysian Foods. Malaysian Food Composition Database