The meaty Eid-ul-Adha is upon us, and we are all preparing to line our stomachs with the hot plates of biryani, premium steaks, and mouthwatering kebabs. With the influx of meat, all delicious, prime, and juicy, comes the lack of self-control. And naturally, we end up gorging far too much food.
This is why many people end up in hospitals after Eid. However, there are ways in which you can enjoy your feast, and still stay healthy during Eid.
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Eid-ul-Adha 2021 Health Tips
Follow these incredibly simple tips to ensure you feel your best during the Eid-ul-Adha festivities.
1. The type of meat you eat matters
Since different animals are slaughtered during Eid-ul-Adha, there is a wide variety of sacrificial meat to choose from. Beef, mutton, lamb, and camel meats, all vary in composition. Some contain more fat in them, whereas others are slightly leaner.
100g of lamb meat usually has 21g of fat, whereas mutton has around 3g of fat, ground beef with 70% lean meat has 30g of fat, and camel meat has around 6.4g of fat. Remember, the more the fact there is, the greater is the satiety and the longer will it take for the body to digest it.
Thus, to stay healthy during Eid-ul-Adha, size your portions keeping in mind the type of meat that you are going for.
2. Watch out for the serving size
You might want to gobble down the juicy and succulent meat but hold on to your impulse. A large amount of protein can be hard on the kidneys and the liver. It also takes time for your body to process the protein and overdoing it can overwhelm your body. It can then lead to problems like acidity, nausea, upset stomach.
It can be a little frustrating to hold back yourself on a merry occasion like Eid-ul-Adha, after all, everyone is allowed to party now and then. So, do not deprive yourself, but enjoy a little bit of everything, in order to stay healthy during Eid.
3. The parts of the animal matter
The distribution of fat and protein in the animals is contingent on the anatomy of the animal. Some parts have leaner meat, like the shanks and the neck, and thus are better than the fattier pieces. Therefore, in order to control your overall intake of fat and thus calories, eat wisely.
4. Proper handling of meat
An important principle to follow to stay healthy during Eid is the safe handling of the meat. Clean your meat thoroughly and properly and remove any visible pieces of fat. Moreover, make sure that you properly drain the meat before storing it.
Since Eid-ul-Adha falls smack in the middle of summer in 2021, you need to be mindful of the heat as well. Letting the meat stay out for too long can make it go bad. Likewise, if your refrigeration is not working properly, there are chances for the meat to not be fit for consumption anymore.
Eating meat that is bad, or not properly washed, can endanger your health.
5. Throw vegetables in the mix
Even though Eid-ul-Adha is referred to as meaty Eid in the vernacular, you do not have to take it quite so literally. Limiting your diet to just proteins is not a good idea if you want to stay healthy during Eid-ul-Adha to enjoy it.
Thus, throw healthy foods like vegetables into the mix. Do a stir fry, grilled and crunchy vegetables, or broil some alongside the meat. When you eat these healthy vegetables alongside the meat, you are fulfilling your body’s requirement of fiber. Not only then does the fiber prevents constipation –that is bound to happen if all you eat is meat– but it also prevents heartburn as well.
Fiber adds bulk to the diet, and thus gives a feeling of fullness. It, therefore, helps you to stop overstuffing yourself. Plus, the combination of meat and vegetables is a classic one; done right, it makes for a very tasty meal.
6. Avoid fried food
You might be tempted to fry the beef pate to make yourself some truly splendid burger but hold back your impulse. Fresh meat is heavy as it is, and when you fry it, you increase the fat content of the meat. It becomes heavier in terms of calories and thus is harder for your body to process.
Rather than ruing the time you decided to fry the meat and suffer from the heartburn of epic proportions, stick to cooking meat otherwise. The pleasure of fried meatballs might be temporary, but the pounds they will pack will a lot of effort to get rid of. Thus, use caution.
7. Time of the meal
Eid is all about mingling and meeting people, which is why schedules run tight. You have to make pit stops at everyone’s place and accept their hospitality. The meat offerings, the desserts, and the drinks, you have to indulge people (and yourself!).
However, this poses the danger of over-eating, as you do not give yourself adequate breaks between meals. It is worse when you end up eating at odd hours since the social gatherings tend to run late.
Difficult it may be, but you must space your meals at least 6 hours apart. Give your body time to process the food, before you dump more of it. You might have to turn away some delicious kebabs, but you will thank us later. Also, try to limit your dietary intake especially at night, when your body is slowing down.
8. Refrain from soft drinks
It can be tempting to resort to the cold colas and other chilly soft drinks, especially after taking a particularly spicy bite of meat.
Moreover, since these beverages are often included in luncheon and dinner gatherings with guests in their presence, we might not realize how much of the fattening soft drinks we end up consuming.
However, these soft drinks are packed with calories. They are high in sugar, especially liquid sugar, which is even more dangerous for the body. Considering we tend to overeat in the Eid festivities, adding soft drinks to the mix is a bad idea.
Instead, hydrate with water. You can add lemon slices or mint to make it refreshing. You can also make beverages at home, like virgin mimosas that can be sweetened using plant-based substitutes that give sweetness, minus the calories.
9. Work out, in a fun way
It’s Eid and sweating in the gym or going for a morning run is the last thing you want to do. Admittedly, it is hard to get into workout mode during the holidays. However, if you want to digest all those heavy meals and not pack on pounds during the days of Eid, it is suggested that you do get some exercise, albeit in a fun way.
You can try to play games with your friends and families over a barbecue session or a picnic. Riding a bicycle, kicking up the ball, having friendly sports banter with your friends are some of the excellent ways to sneak in physical activity. It will not even feel like a workout!
10. Observe healthy barbecuing protocols
One of the most common ways people enjoy meaty Eid is by having cookouts and barbecues. It allows for fun get-togethers. Everyone gets to pitch in and help around with the chores. For once, women are allowed to enjoy a delicious meal and men take charge of the cooking.
And while you might be tempted to show off your masculine barbecuing skills, it’s important to be careful about barbecuing, and not just in terms of fire safety. Do not put out the meat for too long, instead, take it out from the refrigerator or cooler just before cooking it.
Make sure that your meat pieces are adequately sized; too big and they will not cook all the way through. Raw meat poses the risk of problems like salmonella, which can be very dangerous, especially for pregnant women.
Ensure that your meat, especially the kebabs and hamburgers that take more time to cook, are thoroughly and well-cooked before serving them. There might be a long line of people to be served, but patience is key.
Moreover, be sure to remove the excess fat off the meat before you grill it over the coal, as otherwise, the fat will melt and drip into the coals, causing a fire. If this happens, turn it out using water. Make sure that meat does not make contact with this fire.
Cooking meat at high temperatures, as is the case with barbecues, can cause the protein to alter and produce substances that might be carcinogenic. Using vinegar and lemon can help prevent the formation of these compounds, but at the same time, try to limit your barbecue escapades as well.
11. Green tea for the win
Green tea is good for facilitating digestion. Some blends help in dealing with nausea, constipation, indigestion, all the things you can expect from indulging in far too many kebabs and roasts.
Therefore, to stay healthy during Eid, try also taking moderate amounts of green tea after the meals. Peppermint tea is excellent for soothing an upset stomach, especially for those suffering from IBS.
Another great tea to try after partying with the meat is ginger tea. A great condiment, ginger is beneficial for remedying gas, bloating, cramping, and indigestion. It also facilitates emptying of the stomach.
Fennel tea also has some laxative properties, so promotes bowel movements. When you have done justice and then some to a plate of mutton biryani, you can take some fennel tea to facilitate digestion, especially if you are constipated.
Black tea also has compounds like thearubigins, that help in improving the symptoms of indigestion. However, please know that green tea is not an excuse to overeat. Also, since green tea has caffeine in it, pregnant women should exercise caution when using it. Likewise, people who react adversely to caffeine should also be careful about using green tea.
12. Overeating has consequences
If you do not want to spend Eid festivities clutching at your tummy, or writhing on the bathroom floor, exercise some self-control. Too much red meat is not good for health generally but overdoing it, in a span of mere minutes, has grave consequences for your health.
Too much red meat indulgence can cause heartburn or acidity, nausea, stomach pain or pangs, food poisoning. Overeating may also lead to other gastric issues, especially in people already suffering from GI problems. Many people can also get sick as well.
Since it’s summer, our body already needs more water to battle the heat. Add on ailments like diarrhea or vomiting, the chances of dehydration also run high. Restraint is better than regret, so do not overeat, and if you face gastric issues, seek treatment immediately. With oladoc, you can get expert help, without any hassle.
You can schedule an appointment with the top gastroenterologist in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042 3890 0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your gastric issues.
Lastly, apart from these health tips, you should obviously protect yourself by taking all the relevant COVID-19 protocols for Eid-ul-Adha 2021 as suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO), and enjoy a healthy and safe Eid with your family and loved ones!