Avoid unhealthy foods and prevent chronic diseases - Health officials | Sunday Observer

Avoid unhealthy foods and prevent chronic diseases - Health officials

19 December, 2021

With the festive season just beginning and the country now moving towards the New Normal, Christmas shoppers have already thronged the streets and supermarkets in search of deals following the slash in prices of many items including Christmas hampers, cooked turkey, chicken, ham, Christmas cake and Christmas ingredients.

The Sunday Observer spoke to a few health officials including cardiologists for their advice on what they should keep in mind when buying food items for the season. Speaking on grounds of anonymity a health officer said, “This is a time when many people tend to forget the normal diets they have adhered to. Young and old , many feel they could afford to ignore them for a week of indulging in their favourite dishes. This could lead to serious health consequences,” the spokesperson said.

Asked what the health impacts were, a cardiologist said, “ Coronary heart diseases, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes are all likely to develop in the long run. In the case of those who are already diabetic taking too many sweetmeat for a week of festivity could cause very serious consequences – even if the patient were still taking his/her usual prescribed tablets or insulin dosage.”

A food specialist said that many people at this time around switched to oily foods, red meat, butter, margarine out of saturated fat as well as foods that were high in salt, starch and sugar. This is the time they put their fresh vegetables, fruits and cereals back on the shelves and indulge in Christmas cake, breudher, butter cake and ham sandwiches. This is not a good thing.

I have often advised people who do this to think of the long term consequences. Young people especially are not aware that this food can lay the foundation for diseases like diabetes and hypertension at an early stage.”

Asked to comment on why recent hospital statistics have shown that younger persons, some in their forties, are now being warded for heart attacks, a health official said it was due to many of them taking unhealthy diets for most of their growing years. If they are genetically predisposed , this could occur very early in life, while other factors like sedentary lifestyle , stress can aggravate and expedite the process.”

On symptoms Medi snips was told, “ Symptoms of heart disease vary according to the type of the disease. However symptoms common to all heart diseases are chest pain, angina which is work related chest pain, shortness of breath and swelling of legs.”.

So what is the solution?, we asked an aerobics specialist.

The reply was, “Exercise more. Do extra workouts and go for long walks to get rid of that excessive carbohydrates from your body this season. Cycling, running , dancing, and doing any vigorous exercises for at least one hour a day will help. And continue to take more fish, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables in your daily diet.”