It just happens that Valentine's Day and Lantern Festival fall on February 14, 2014. People are advised not to eat dumplings and chocolate too much, because either 4 dumplings or 10 grains of chocolate may provide more calories than the rice you consume in a day, causing unpredictable health effects.
A dumpling (stuffed with sesame, peanuts, or ground meat) provides about 50 calories. If you have 4 of them, you are taking the same calories as those of a bowl of rice. One grain of chocolate provides about a quarter of calories of a bowl of rice. If you have 10 grains of chocolate, you take in as much as 744 calories of heat, equivalent to 2.7 bowls of rice.
People are advised not to overeat at a festive, because glutinous rice is hard to digest. Try to take three or less rice balls and eat more vegetables and fruits, instead. The elders who are not good at chewing are especially advised to take 10 small dumplings instead of 2 big dumplings.
Hydrogenated vegetable oil, or trans fats, is added to some kinds of chocolate to make it tasteful. Patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases are advised to avoid chocolate containing trans fats. It is better for them to take low-calorie chocolate or chocolate with high cocoa ingredients.
Huang Mei-Na (黃美娜), Director-general of Health Bureau of Taichung City Government, said, “We have checked supermarkets, traditional markets, and food and beverage stores. We have randomly sampled 25 dumplings to test whether they were excessively added with 12 kinds of preservatives, such as sorbic acid, benzoic acid, and dehydroacetic Acid. We are happy all the test results are in line with regulations.”
It is difficult for us to identify the preservatives by naked eye and nose. Long-term consumption of food preservatives which are not easy to discharge by human metabolism may cause unpredictable health effects, especially on our liver and kidneys. When buying foods from a production premise, you are advised to watch out for its cleanness. At a convenience store, you should buy only foods with complete package and label of such information as product ingredients, the manufacturer's name, address, telephone, nutrition contents, and effective dates.