Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is cautioning residents against overindulging in food and drinks, as the holy month of Ramadan is coming to a close and Eid al-Fitr festivities are drawing near.
Dr Yousef al-Tayeb, senior consultant, Emergency Medicine at Hamad General Hospital, says the negative health consequences of overeating can include stomach upset, intestinal disorders, weight gain and obesity.
“Unfortunately many people tend to overload their bodies with large amounts of unhealthy food and drink during Eid celebrations. As a result, we often notice a spike in the number of patients seeking emergency medical care for gastrointestinal and digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, tummy upset and indigestion,” said Dr al-Tayeb.
“During Ramadan, the body, and the digestive system adapt to the fasting schedule and a prolonged period without food and water.
The transition from ‘fast’ to ‘feast’ can lead to adverse effects on one’s health. In instances where there is a pre-existing health condition, such as diabetes and heart disease, the health threats are multiplied and there are risks associated with unstable blood sugar levels, particularly if an individual is consuming large amounts of sweets,” added Dr al-Tayeb.
“Although some people feel it is impolite to reject or say no when they are offered food while visiting a relative, friend, or neighbour during Eid, it is important to remember the main purpose of Ramadan.
Overindulging in food, particularly highly processed foods, can lead to rapid weight gain, which can cause obesity, a leading cause of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and a host of other medical conditions,” noted Dr al-Tayeb.
Dr al-Tayeb has advised everyone to eat in moderation, focusing on maintaining a balanced diet that encompasses all the major food groups with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, and complex carbohydrates, such as beans, lentils, whole grain bread, and oats.
“Stay well-hydrated throughout the day but limit consumption of soft drinks and beverages high in sugar and caffeine. Don’t skip breakfast; skipping breakfast can lead to overeating throughout the day and try to choose healthy options in food items,” advised Dr al-Tayeb.
He has also suggested to fill the plate with small portions of low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats as well as to avoid salty and fatty foods, which can cause gastrointestinal disturbances.
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