TIPS FOR A HEALTH­IER RAYA

Don’t overeat, stay ac­tive dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son, ad­vise ex­perts

New Straits Times - - NEWS / NATION - TEH ATHIRA YU­SOF tehathira.yu­sof@nst.com.my

HARI Raya is syn­ony­mous with sump­tu­ous spreads and feast­ing. But that is no excuse to overeat and brush aside healthy eat­ing habits.

Na­tional Heart In­sti­tute (IJN) chief di­eti­cian Mary Easaw urged peo­ple to be mind­ful about what they eat to pre­vent health risks.

“Hari Raya is a time to spend with fam­ily, rel­a­tives and friends. There will also be plenty of de­li­cious tra­di­tional dishes to savour, like ke­tu­pat, ren­dang and le­mang.

“This does not pro­vide you a ticket to eat as you like and pile up the ki­los you lost dur­ing the fast­ing month.

“It’s best to take the food in smaller serv­ings. There will be many houses to visit, with plenty of food to feast on.

“It’s good if you ex­er­cise some dis­ci­pline and not go on a food binge dur­ing Hari Raya. It’s un­healthy and could land you in trou­ble, health-wise.”

Easaw added that one should be care­ful of tak­ing too much sweet and savoury dishes.

“This can lead to sat­u­rated fats be­com­ing ac­cu­mu­lated in the blood stream. It can also cause a sugar high in your body, which could at­tack the brain or heart if you are hy­po­gly­caemic.

“Practising mind­ful eat­ing is the best way to en­joy Hari Raya. Savour the food, not gulp it down in one go.”

Univer­siti Malaya Sport and Ex­er­cise Sciences lec­turer Dr Sa­reena Hanim Hamzah, who spe­cialises in nu­tri­tion for health, fit­ness and sports, re­minds every­one to be dis­ci­plined and ex­er­cise reg­u­larly to main­tain a healthy life­style dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

Dr Sa­reena said phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties would help burn the ac­cu­mu­lated fats and calo­ries.

“It is good to spend at least 30 min­utes ex­er­cis­ing, around three to five times a week.

“There are two forms of ex­er­cise that can be done. Aer­o­bic ex­er­cise in­cludes jog­ging, cy­cling, swim­ming and aer­o­bic dance, while recre­ational ex­er­cise in­cludes foot­ball, bad­minton or ten­nis.

“Ex­er­cise is im­por­tant to break the eat­ing pat­tern, as hav­ing too much to eat leads to higher en­ergy in­take, which is more than re­quired.

“This means more en­ergy is con­sumed than burnt, which causes ex­cess calo­ries to be de­posited as fats in the body.”

Dr Sa­reena also em­pha­sised the need to con­trol the quan­tity and qual­ity of the food in­take.

“Eat­ing in mod­er­a­tion and avoid­ing too much high-calo­rie food, sugar and fat are good to main­tain your health dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son,” she said, adding that con­sum­ing plain wa­ter and tak­ing fruits as starters could help one feel full and re­duce sub­se­quent food in­take.

Practising mind­ful eat­ing is the best way to en­joy Hari Raya. Savour the food, not gulp it down in one go. MARY EASAW

IJN chief di­eti­cian

FILE PIC

Con­sum­ing plain wa­ter and tak­ing fruits as starters could help one feel full and re­duce sub­se­quent food in­take.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.