HMC urges residents to avoid overeating during Eid festivities
As the Holy Month of Ramadan draws to a close and Eid Al Fitr festivities are drawing near, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is cautioning Qatar residents against over indulging in eating and drinking to prevent stomach upsets and intestinal disorders.
“Unfortunately, many people tend to overload their bodies with large amounts of unhealthy food and soft drinks during Eid celebrations. As a result, we often notice a spike in the number of patients seeking emergency treatment for gastric issues such as nausea, vomiting, stomach upset and indigestion at Hamad General Hospital’s (HGH) Emergency Department,” said Senior Consultant of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Saad Al Nuaimi.
“It is important to remember that the body becomes accustomed to a prolonged period of fasting during Ramadan and the transition from ‘fast’ to ‘feast’ can produce adverse effects on one’s health. In instances where there is a pre-existing health condition, such as diabetes and heart disease, the health risks are multiplied with the sudden loss of control in blood sugar levels created by the consumption of large amounts of sweets and sugars,” he added.
Dr. Al Nuaimi noted that while it is important to take the time to celebrate with friends and family, it is also important to remember the purpose of fasting in Ramadan.
“Although some people feel it is impolite to reject or say no when offered sweets or meals while visiting a relative, friend or neighbor during Eid, it is important to remember the main purpose of fasting in Ramadan. Overindulging can also lead to rapid weight gain, which can in turn cause obesity, a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and back pain,” said Dr. Al Nuaimi.
To prevent avoidable ill health during the Eid celebrations and holidays, Dr. Al Al Nuaimi offered the following advice:
- Eat healthy food in moderation and avoid drinking soft drinks as much as possible.
- Don't skip breakfast, as this will just lead to overeating during the day. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
- When you are offered a selection of different foods, try to choose healthy options. Fill your plate with small portions of low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.
- Avoid salty foods and sugary and/or caffeinated drinks.
- Avoid heavy fatty foods, which can cause gastrointestinal disturbances. When using oil in food preparation, use only a small amount of olive oil or other polyunsaturated fats.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar (such as white bread, white rice, sweets and pastries) which can cause blood sugar surges and weight gain.
- The main meal should consist be balanced with larger portions of vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates, e.g. beans, lentils, whole grain bread and oats.
- Store food items properly in the refrigerator or as directed on the food label (avoid leaving groceries in a parked car as the temperature inside the car can quickly rise, causing food to spoil).
- Exercise regularly (30 minutes a day, five times a week) and if required, consult your doctor for recommendations on suitable exercise.
HMC is encouraging the public to view the Eid break as an opportunity to develop healthy eating habits and to commit to healthier lifestyle choices.
Hamad Medical Corporation
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is the main provider of secondary and tertiary healthcare in Qatar and one of the leading hospital providers in the Middle East.
For more than four decades, HMC has been dedicated to delivering the safest, most effective and compassionate care to all its patients.
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