3 pineapple tarts equal to one plate of rice, nutritionist says, Health News

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Nastar (cookies filled with pineapple jam) is among the sweet treats to be found during Idul Fitri celebrations. But despite their mouth-watering look and taste, they are meant to be consumed in moderation.

Nutritionist Tirta Prawita Sari said that three nastar cookies are equal to one plate of rice.

« There are various types of nastar, depending on what kind of ingredients are used, but three nastar have 120 to 140 calories, which is equivalent to a plate of rice, » Tirta told Antara news agency.

She added that the cookies are made from sugar, white flour, eggs and butter, meaning that they contain carbohydrates with a bit of protein and fat but lack vitamins and minerals. The white flour used in the cookies usually doesn’t have any fiber either.

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« Cookies are bite-sized meals, but they’re high in calories, » Tirta said.

Furthermore, eating too many nastar could trigger a rise in cholesterol levels, particularly because they use a large amount of butter.

Tirta suggested that people treat the cookies as complementary meals.

« Avoid them if you can. But if you want to eat them, it’s better to adjust your calorie intake (from other foods) that you’ve consumed, » she said.

As a comparison, one putri salju (sugar-coated cookies) weighing around 6 grams has 22.5 calories, while one lidah kucing (cat’s tongues) weighing around 4 gr contains 18 calories and one 5-gr kaastengels (cheese shortbread) has 20.3 calories. Another snack, the glutinous-rice cookie named as rengginang, has 12 calories.

To avoid weight gain, she advised people to balance their calorie intake with physical activities. Doing jumping rope exercises or skipping for an hour, for instance, could burn 735 calories, while one hour of fast walking could burn 368 calories.

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