Know more about Rice Dumplings

Happy Dragon Boat Festival! We can’t have the festival without having some rice dumplings! Here are some healthy dumpling tips so that you can enjoy the festive food healthily and wisely!

Rice dumplings are made with glutinous rice which is high in glycaemic index, and causes blood glucose levels to rise rapidly. People with diabetes who experience long-term high and unstable blood glucose level will develop complications, which can affect blood vessels and increase the risk of damage to the nerve, eyes and vascular diseases. If you want to enjoy rice dumplings for the festival, consider replacing glutinous rice with healthier options, such as purple rice and brown rice which contains more fibre, or konjac rice which is lower in sugar and calories.

In terms of the other ingredients, the dietary fibre content of traditional rice dumplings is generally low. Try using less oil, salt and sugar, and high fibre ingredients when making your own dumplings. For example, try to replace bacon and pork belly with lean pork or skinless chicken; replace processed meat such as Chinese ham, salted egg yolks and cured meat with dried scallops, dried shrimps, lotus seeds, chestnuts and mushroom, to reduce sodium content.

Carbohydrates contained in a rice dumpling is relatively high, therefore it is best to eat as the main dish of a meal to reduce the carbohydrate absorbed. The actual serving will be different for each person, but we suggest an average adult should not eat more than half of a medium size rice dumpling per meal. Pairing with a bowl of vegetables will not only increase the intake of fibre but also help delay the rise of blood glucose level. Sodium and sugar in rice dumplings are high, we should avoid adding extra sugar and soy sauce while eating.

Hope everyone enjoys a healthy Dragon Boat Festival!

Information Source: Denise Luk, Registered Dietitian