As the weather gets cooler, many of us are gearing up for the hotpot season. Whether you enjoy your hotpot meal at home or at a restaurant, keeping your appetite in check and counting the calories in the offered food items is essential to minimising overeating and weight gain. Previously, I shared practical strategies on tackling a hotpot meal . Let’s dive deeper by looking at the calories and the nutrients present in the common hotpot foods and how you can make wise choices without compromising your appetite and cravings. 5 tips to reducing the risk of breast cancer Organ meats – indulge or none? View this post on Instagram Beef Brisket with Turnips in Hotpot #beefbrisket #beeftendon #turnips #fivespices #hotpot #stew #cantonesefood #cantonesefood #newvillage #chineserestaurant #germantownmd #yelpmdburbs #MoCoEats #theultimatefoodie2 A post shared by Samantha Elizabeth (@theultimatefoodie2) on Nov 12, 2019 at 9:05pm PST For some hotpot lovers, hotpot is not the same without eating the organ meats such as beef tripe, chicken heart and more. Animal organs are indeed rich in protein, but they are also high in dietary cholesterol. In fact, the cholesterol within organ meats could be twice to thrice the amount of cholesterol in regular meats. For instance, for every 100 grams of tripe and of chicken hearts, there are 122 milligrams and 136 milligrams of cholesterol, respectively. A 100 gram-serving of beef sirloin, on the other hand, has only 51 milligrams of cholesterol while a 100 gram-serving of chicken breast with skin has 64 milligrams of cholesterol. Perhaps 100 or so milligrams of cholesterol may not seem much when we look at the big picture, but our liver already naturally makes cholesterol, which is circulated in our blood. Dietary cholesterol, that is those that come from foods like animal products, also gets circulated in our body and stored in the liver. While high blood cholesterol does not necessarily contribute to cardiovascular heart disease, foods with dietary cholesterol are typically high in saturated fats. Foods with saturated fat, with the exception of eggs and shrimps, could increase your risk for cardiovascular heart disease. The 2015-2020 Dietary Recommendations for Americans suggests one to consume as little dietary cholesterol as possible, with no specific amount recommended. In other words, eating organ meats such as chicken hearts occasionally, which offer 2.7 grams of saturated fats per 100-gram serving, is not necessarily bad for your health. Eating them on a regular basis during the hotpot season in the long run, however, may increase your saturated fat intake and your risk for cardiovascular heart disease. Instead of indulging in organ meats, opt for other lower in cholesterol and fat, yet rich in protein options, such as fish, scallops and crabmeat. For the same serving size, they offer less cholesterol and fat, with 41 milligrams of cholesterol and 0.5 grams of saturated fat in sea bass; 24 milligrams of cholesterol and 0.13 grams of saturated fat in scallops; and 59 milligrams of cholesterol and 0.13 grams of saturated fat in dungeness crabmeat. 5 weird and wonderful Hong Kong hotpots to sate your craving Fatty beef slices or pork neck? View this post on Instagram : @jimmyfoodtron Hot Pot Summer : @chongqingyaomei . . . . . . . . #topcitybites #hotpot #hotpot #hotpotbuffet #chinesefood #chinesefoodlover #chinesefoods #chinesefoodporn #lafoodie #dinela #bestfoodfeed #lafoodies #losangeleseats #losangeles #foodvideo #brunchporn #lafoodie #lafood #losangelesfood #lafoodscene #hungrinla #videofood #foodvideos #lafoods #losangelesfoodscene A post shared by LA's Top Restaurants (@top_la_restaurants) on Aug 25, 2019 at 5:31pm PDT Fatty beef slices and pork neck are all must-have items among many hotpot enthusiasts. So, which is better for your health? If we look solely from the caloric perspective, they are both almost the same per 100-gram serving, with 555 calories for beef and 547 calories for pork neck. Since you will be eating a wide array of food items, calories do add up quickly. Therefore, instead of eating countless amounts of meat, keep your portion to three to five slices, assuming each slice is around 15 to 20 grams. Alternatively, you could also eat more of the seafood options such as fish fillets, scallops and crabmeat, as they are lower in dietary cholesterol, fat and calories. Meatballs or meat slices? Like meat slices, meatballs of various flavours are also common in a hotpot meal. One may opt for more meatballs over other meats because they are generally seasoned and taste delicious without the need to dip into condiments for additional flavour. However, meatballs, which include beef balls, pork balls, lunch meat and sausages, are considered processed meats, which have been salted and/or cured during the food manufacturing process to improve their flavour. According to the World Health Organisation, processed meats are considered carcinogenic to humans, and are grouped in the same category as tobacco as Group 1 carcinogens, meaning there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate these carcinogens can have an adverse effect in humans. The WHO states: “data from 10 studies estimated that every 50-gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 per cent”. Can eating hotpot be guilt-free? A nutritionist shows us how Since eating processed meats regularly has been shown to increase one’s risk for cancer, it is best to minimise your consumption whenever possible. And that is not all; they are also more calorie-dense than other meat options. Five pieces of the pork with mushroom meatballs, for instance, could have up to 1,155 calories, which is equivalent to 10 pieces of fatty beef slices. For the carcinogenic factor alone, you may want to choose the fresh meat slices over the meatballs. Better yet, choose the seafood items mentioned above as healthier alternatives. Wheat gluten or bean curd skins? View this post on Instagram A couple of weeks ago at @phung.kay for their hotpot at @tencablestreet. It was so darn good and just like I remembered from when I lived in Singapore (only this time, better and vegan ). There’s nothing this team can’t do. They’re phenomenal and their food is deeeelish. Their latest event is one of their famous dim sum nights. You owe it to yourself to go. Also, in top right hand corner is @kippysnacks wearing an amazing print from @zurikenya that I might just have to abscond with one day A post shared by Emi Ⓥ (@emisgoodeating) on Apr 1, 2019 at 11:08am PDT Vegetarian options such as wheat glutens and bean curd skins are part of a typical hotpot meal, but which is healthier? The wheat glutens typically served at hotpot meals are deep fried. For every 100 grams, there are a whooping 493 calories with 25.1 grams of fat. Bean curd skins, on the other hand, could be served as deep fried in a rolled up form or as a dried form that has been reconstituted in water. The deep-fried bean curd skins could have up to 668 calories for every 100 grams (about seven to eight pieces). Among the three, the latter is the obvious healthier choice as every 100 grams is only one-fifth and one-eighth of wheat glutens’ and deep-fried bean curds’ calories, respectively, with 83 calories and 3.8 grams of fat per serving. 4 great hotpot restaurants you must visit in Shanghai Ramen or rice noodles? A hotpot meal is not complete without eating the carbs. Ramen noodles is the number one choice for many because it is a classic comfort food. However, ramen noodles are deep fried. For every 100 gram-serving of ramen noodles, there are 473 calories and 21.1 grams of fat. You may think that rice noodles are a healthier alternative. From a nutritional perspective, they certainly are, with 109 calories and 0.2 grams of fat for every 100 gram-serving (cooked). Rice noodles, however, can easily absorb the oil immersed in the hotpot soup. In other words, you may ingest unnecessary calories if you leave them cooked in the pot for some time. The same can be said for glass noodles. While they are made with mung beans and have similar calories to rice noodles, they tend to swell and absorb the oils and fats from the hotpot soup if they are cooked in the pot for too long. A healthier alternative will be shirataki noodles, also known as konjac noodles that are made from konjac yam. While they can absorb some oil the way rice noodles and glass noodles do, they come in small bundles so you can easily control your portion. The biggest benefit you get from these translucent and gelatinous noodles is they are low in calories and are rich in fibre. For every 100 grams, you get 12 calories, 0.5 grams of fat and three grams of fibre. Including these as part of your scrumptious hotpot meal can certainly help you pace your appetite for other hotpot foods. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .