The silky smoothness of tau huay leaves some with an orgasmic high. But this humble Chinese dessert is just as capable of giving you a high of another sort: spiking sugar levels.
No thanks to the syrup that the gelatin-like paste is served with, one bowl (540g) contains a whopping 55g of sugar, says the Health Promotion Board. “That alone is the maximum amount you should be consuming in a day,” says Grace Yanti, a dietician at Singapore General Hospital’s Department of Dietetics. To put the number in perspective, a can of Coke (335ml), not exactly the most saintly of foods, packs 39g.
Never mind what tau huay aficionados say about the syrup being an indispensable part of the dessert – skip the sin by asking for less of the sweet substance in your bowl. You’ll be helping your body ward off killers like obesity and heart disease – common health woes associated with exceeding your recommended sugar intake on a regular basis. Beware The Pudding
Tau huay has also been given a fashionable spin, in the form of soya bean pudding. Interest in this new concoction has reach fever pitch, as evidenced by the large number of people who cart bowls of them awayat popular hawker stalls. While recipes may vary from one supplier to another, Yanti points out that some include non-dairy creamer as an ingredient. This popular coffee condiment isn’t innocent – it adds calories and fat to your diet, she warns. Furthermore, sugar has been pre-added to the pudding during the manufacturing process, leaving you with no “less sugar” option. While this fancy new dessert may be irresistible, stick with traditional tau huay with less syrup when you need your fix. It gives you 12g out of the approximate 42g to 63g of protein you need every day – without the extra calories. Calcium Overload – Not
Gypsum (calcium sulphate), commonly used to coagulate soya milk into smooth tau huay paste, has received much flak for causing kidney stones. You put yourself at risk of the condition when you consume calcium in excess of the recommended daily allowance of 800mg to 1,000mg, explains Yanti. While gypsum is indeed responsible for the 81mg of calcium per serving (according to the HPB) of tau huay, the amount used is too minute to be of any health concern, she adds. The gypsum that you slurp with each bowl is broken down into calcium – and other substances – during the digestion process, explains Yanti. While your body absorbs some, the rest is excreted. So unless you’re a fanatic who subsists on tau huay, there’s no need to lose hair over your next bowl.