E(id)at in piecemeal; cold drinks, juices may damage liver, say experts

IQBAL KIRMANI

SRINAGAR: On the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, doctors and dieticians have advised people to eat in piecemeal and refrain from taking cold drinks and juices because sudden exposure to it, after month-long Ramadan fast, can damage the liver.
According to Dr Nisar Ahmad Shah, a gastroenterologist, the lower abdominal part of pylorus absorbs one calorie per minute while in the case of an athlete the rate slightly increases. “But on the very first day (after the Ramadan fast) the usual course gets changed and we consume nearly 4000-6000 calories which creates problems for the pylorus and its functioning called as functional bound disease,” he said.
“We usually drink too much sweet juices and tea. But one must take care as overdose of glucose, lactose and carbohydrates increases the blood glucose level that creates stress on pancreas,” Dr Shah said while asking people to restrict their eating habits.
Owing to the hot summer, people like to enjoy cold drinks, but doctors say juices and cold drinks are harmful to the liver as they contain artificial sweeteners.
“As our bodies have got used to a different eating habit in Ramadan, we should avoid sudden exposure to drinks, as artificial sweeteners are irritants to stomach and liver. And sudden exposure to them can damage the liver,” Dr Abdul Majid Wani, a consultant at Government Medical College, Srinagar, said.
According to Dr Mohammad Saleem Khan, head of GMC’s Department of
Social and Preventive Medicine, there is no fixed time as to how much time a body will adopt new eating patterns. He also urged people to avoid sudden exposure to drinks.
“We prepare many dishes at home for Eid, but be cautious about making too much spicy foods. Our stomach must not get too much irritated on a single day leading to gastro problems. Otherwise there is no problem in having a good meal,” Dr Khan said, advising people to eat in piecemeal. “Eat on intervals that is good for health,” he said.
Medicos are of view that the change in eating habits has led to increase in stomach ulcers among Kashmiris. “Kashmir has seen drastic changes regarding the eating habits. Earlier we did not have such huge gastroenterological problems, but today we are seeing hundreds of patients every day. Ramadan should be taken as a bonus period to get things on track, but unfortunately people do not listen,” explained Dr Shah.
Uzma Amin, a diet counselor at Kashmir University told Kashmir Reader that people should gradually ease into normal eating habits. “Returning to pre-Ramadan food habits may cause a shock to your body’s system and may trigger undesirable side effects such as indigestion, heart burn and the dreaded weight gain. You should also remember that overeating during Eid is very common and in addition to the previous side effects this can also lead to fatigue and the tendency to sleep for longer periods of time.”
While giving a diet chart for Eid, Uzma said that before the fajr prayers, make sure to eat something like a few dates.
After prayers, it is recommended to have milk, preferably low fat. A moderately light breakfast can follow. For example, you can have whole grain breakfast cereals with low fat milk and a banana.
Uzma also advised people that they should try eating main meals during Eid at timings that are close to Ramadan’s iftar and suhour. “This will help your body to gradually get used to normal eating habits” she said.
“With these useful tips you can now enjoy an Eid while ensuring that you gently go back to your regular three meals and incorporating regular exercise in your life” Uzma added.

Diet chart for Eid
According to health experts, people should consume a few dates before the fajr prayers on Eid.
After prayers, it is recommended to have milk, preferably low fat. A moderately light breakfast can follow. For example, you can have whole grain breakfast cereals with low fat milk and a banana.
People should try eating main meals during Eid at timings that are close to Ramadan’s iftar and suhour. This will help the body to gradually get used to normal eating habits

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