People should make health-conscious food choices during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, particularly with regard to mooncakes, which should be eaten in moderation, a nutritionist and health expert said on Tuesday.

One mooncake typically contains 500 to 1,000 calories, which is equivalent to two bowls of rice, said Yang Ling-ling (楊玲玲), a professor of health management at Huafan University in New Taipei City.

Mooncakes are traditionally given as gifts and eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which this year is to be celebrated tomorrow.

Wrapped in a thin crust, the rich filling of the pastry is usually made from red bean or lotus seed paste, and could also contain salted duck egg yolks.

It is better to eat slices of mooncake, rather than a whole cake at once, to avoid a high calorie intake, Yang said.

Small servings of mooncake could also be complemented with slices of cucumber, pineapple, banana, and other nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, she said.

During the Mid-Autumn Festival season, people should avoid large servings of meat and seafood, and instead have mushrooms, vegetables, fruits and other fiber-rich foods that would be a healthier alternative, she added.