Chinese New Year is a time for all things new and prosperous. Children vie for loaded ang pows while working adults attempt to keep their finances in check as they go visiting, eating and for the unfortunate wedded people, ang pow-giving.
Where three or four generations of family gather, food is a necessity and the variety of Chinese New Year goodies definitely do not disappoint.
When the golden period of Chinese goodies and smiling relatives slowly simmers down, however, over-indulging might not be such a good idea anymore.
Read on to find out which heartburn-inducing Chinese New Year foods you should probably eat in moderation to prevent indigestion.
1. Suckling pig
As tempting as it may be to continually reach for a second round of fried pork skin, it is good to note that suckling pig or deep-fried pork can increase the risk of you getting heartburn with all its oily goodness.
This is mainly due to its fried fatty skin which, upon consumption, might clog up your arteries with fat.
2. Mandarin oranges
I adore mandarin oranges for the mere fact that it is very gratifying to peel the soft outer skin and devour the tangy fruit whole. It is understandably very addictive for this reason but these innocuous-looking mandarins can cause heartburn if continuously chain eaten, due to their high acidity.
3. Nian gao 年糕
To usher in the new year, most Chinese families get Nian gao 年糕, a glutinous cake that has come to represent the start of the auspicious Chinese New Year.
It seems almost unfathomable to consider how such a treat can increase the risk of a heartburn, but the fact remains true that due to its fried, starchy and sugary nature, nian gaos can do harm to your very vital organ.
4. Bak kwa 肉干
Savouring this beautiful pork creation brings me much contentment, but it is also needless to say how you should let go of what you truly love. These deliciously oily, tender pieces of barbecued meat have a heavy fat content and if you value your stomach’s well-being, it is crucial that you have your dose of happiness in moderation.
5. Chinese sausage 臘腸
Chinese sausages can make heartburn victims out of us if we are not careful.
These sweetened elongated bundles of pork joy have a high level of fat content and so while you may feel like continually loading piles of these oily delicacies onto your plate, it might be wise to cut down on a few sticks of them. Having a few slices here and there in a dish like lap mai fan shouldn’t be an issue though.
6. Pineapple tarts
Bite-sized and addictive, and oh so easy to pop into your mouth. But all things glorified and good come with a few caveats.
The pastry of pineapple tarts is made from a thick mixture of butter and sugar, both of which are heartburn-inducing. Coupled with the pineapple which has high acidity, this CNY treat definitely needs to be eaten with some form of self-control, no matter how yummy it is.
7. Fried Spring rolls/ Egg rolls
The thought of foods sizzling in a pan of oil can be splendid but the thought of oily fat deposits from fried foods settling down along your arteries can be far from delightful.
Fried spring rolls are lovely and traditional eaten during CNY, but one is to consume these treats in moderation as well for they can definitely increase the risk of you getting a heartburn if you pop one too many.
8. Deep fried lotus chips
Not a particular favourite of mine but still a crispy delicacy loved by many, lotus chips are deep-fried and the oily fat content is definitely a factor to consider when you dig into jars of these chips. While it may be that lotus roots (the non-fried version) are nutritious and beneficial to your health, you should watch out munching on these fried treats.
9. Chinese peanut puff
Deep-fried and saturated in fats, Chinese peanut puffs may be savoury and sweet but they can also be a trigger for heartburn if eaten in excess.
Every time I visit a friend’s house during Chinese New Year and feed on their leftover CNY goodies like a vulture, I know how easily I become completely addicted to anything peanut-flavoured. So I do empathise with every ordinary food-loving Singaporean out there do watch your hands reaching for that next peanut puff.
10. Deep-fried Hae Bee Prawn Sambal roll
The spicy stuffing of these fried prawn rolls are dangerously delicious and of course, easily habit-forming once you start.
One can quickly become fixed on grabbing handfuls of scrumptious prawn rolls and ravaging them but due to the spiciness and deep-fried outer wrapping of these suckers, it would probably be best to keep the number of prawn rolls you consume each day computable.
11. Pork Belly/ Wagyu beef during Steamboat
Reunion dinners over Steamboat are commonplace and alluring strips of pork belly or wagyu beef can usually be found lying harmlessly on almost every diner’s table. However, meats, especially pork belly, are imbued in fats and these fats can not only increase cholesterol levels but clutter your arteries.
Combined with all the other CNY treats you’ve been having, risk of indigestion might just increase from these slabs of fatty meat.
12. Deep fried salmon Skin
Much like the lotus chips and anything else deep-fried, salmon skin tastes sublime owing most of its glory to the crispy texture. Some even come with salted egg coating for that extra oomph.
Eat these fried beauties in moderation though, or you just might find yourself with indigestion from all the oils.
While these commonly found Chinese New Year foods have been listed to be wary of, it is necessary for fellow readers to note that no one should feel the need to deprive themselves of these goodies, but it is for the sake of your well-being you take everything delicious in moderation.
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