Eat­ing in mod­er­a­tion

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Digestive Health & You -

con­sid­er­able amounts of oil, sugar, co­conut milk, fat and salt, not to men­tion ar­ti­fi­cial flavour­ing, sodium and preser­va­tives.

It is no sur­prise then that high con­sump­tion of such foods cou­pled with long hours of in­ac­tiv­ity can put peo­ple at risk of gain­ing weight.

Peo­ple need to mon­i­tor their food in­take to en­sure they eat ev­ery­thing in mod­er­a­tion. It is im­por­tant to cut down on fried chicken, French fries and other fried foods as th­ese foods are high sources of sat­u­rated fat and calo­ries.

Prof Lee says, “Some peo­ple may find dishes rich in oil and co­conut milk to cause abdominal dis­com­fort, in­di­ges­tion, gas and re­flux.”

He shares that pa­tients with un­der­ly­ing heart dis­ease, di­a­betes mel­li­tus and hy­per­ten­sion may also find their dis­eases wors­en­ing when con­sum­ing large amounts of such foods dur­ing Ra­madan.

Prof Lee, who is also pro­fes­sor of medicine and con­sul­tant of gas­troen­terol­ogy at Univer­siti Sains Malaysia, adds, “Some peo­ple may find pro­cessed foods to cause abdominal dis­com­fort, in­di­ges­tion, gas and re­flux as well. In more se­vere cases, they lead to the pos­si­bil­ity of food poi­son­ing, caus­ing di­ar­rhoea, vom­it­ing and fever.”

Keep prop­erly hy­drated

A com­plete meal with the right nu­tri­ents, fi­bre and roughage will help pre­vent peo­ple from feel­ing lethar­gic or weak as they go about their daily ac­tiv­i­ties.

Many in­di­vid­u­als do not drink enough flu­ids dur­ing the non-fast­ing win­dow, which can cause de­hy­dra­tion and even con­sti­pa­tion dur­ing the day.

Re­ly­ing heav­ily on caf­feinated drinks such as co­las, en­ergy drinks, tea and cof­fee, how­ever, will fur­ther de­hy­drate the body.

While break­ing fast, drinks and desserts such as rose syrup, air ban­dung, cen­dol and colour­ful kuih-muih are sweet to the taste and can be re­fresh­ing but th­ese treats are also sources of empty calo­ries that will add some un­wanted kilo­grammes to your weight.

Peo­ple need to con­sume such treats moderately. As a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive, you can con­sume co­conut wa­ter to quench your thirst and re­main hy­drated.

An­other way to keep hy­drated is to con­sume more fruits. Whether con­sumed whole, as fresh juice or a slushy, fruits pro­vide high amounts of vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and di­etary fi­bre that are im­por­tant for the body and also a good way to detox­ify the di­ges­tive sys­tem.

Granted, there are many tasty and de­li­cious del­i­ca­cies to feast upon in Malaysia. How­ever, many of th­ese dishes should not be a sta­ple in any diet, par­tic­u­larly for those who are fast­ing this month.

For­tu­nately, there are count­less al­ter­na­tives avail­able that can pro­vide the right nu­tri­tional requirements to last the day. One sim­ply has to be more mind­ful of his or her daily in­take.

Mod­er­ate food con­sump­tion is im­por­tant when fast­ing to en­sure the body is still suf­fi­ciently nour­ished.

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