Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Overindulgence in meat preparations during Eid Al Adha celebrations can cost you your health and doctors advise moderation in consumption of meat. Most hospitals report a high number of patients suffering from gastritis, diarrhoea and vomiting reporting at the emergency during Eid Al Adha.

Dr Rania Fauzy, General Practitioner in Internal Medicine at Medcare Hospital Sharjah told Gulf News: ‘People tend to have meat preparations for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meat is heavy to digest and high consumption of red meat after ten days of fasting triggers indigestion, colic gastritis, vomiting and diarrhoea, and we have a 30 per cent rise in these cases during this period.”

However, apart from a high incidence of indigestion complaints, heavy consumption of red meat has a far reaching impact on cholesterol and heart health and is likely to induce cardiac episodes and result in higher incidence of thickening of arteries. Even heavy consumption of red meat for a couple of days can prove to be toxic for those already suffering from high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, doctors warned.

Dr Juliott Vinolia, clinical dietician and head of the nutrition department at Medeor 24/7, told Gulf News: “According to the recommendations of the American Dietary Association, it is not advisable to eat more than 150 to 200 gm of red meat in a day. But beginning with meat stews, cutlets, grills, heavily curried items, burgers and cutlets for all three meals, people end up having nearly 500 gm to one kg of red meat. Red meat makes the blood very acidic, increases the uric acid and nitrogenous waste compounds in the blood and also results in excessive load on the kidneys. People who already have kidney stones have a high risk of developing urate stones. There is also a risk of developing gall bladder stones.”

Dr Vinolia said that even excesses of a day or two can prove highly toxic for people. “Our digestive system is not designed to handle such high level of proteins and this generates a lot of peptic acid triggering nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Besides cured red meat is high in sodium and even the fresh cuts from the butcher, cooked with barbecue sauces and curries also goes high on sodium causing a sodium build-up, which is not advisable for hypertension patients. Even a couple of days of heavy consumption of red meat can cause aggravation of arthelosclerosis in heart patients,” she warned

Dr Fauzy advised people to be more selective in their food habits and not to go overboard with meat consumption. “Even two days of heavy meat consumption can cause a rise in Low Density Lipo Protein. Many Arab families love to have fat-laden red meat, which is very harmful. A single piece of veal for instance is 800 calories and such high calories consumption can harm your digestion as the stomach is already very sensitive after ten days of fasting.”

How to moderate meat consumption

1. Portion control is the key. Limit your consumption to less than 200 gm of red meat even if you have to eat it through breakfast, lunch and dinner.

2. Have soups, steamed vegetables and salads to counteract the acidic effect of red meat.

3. Try and avoid heavily curried meat, which is high in oil, too spicy and may irritate your digestive tract. If you have to eat, go for a limited portion of grills and stir fry meat preparations.

4. While buying meat cuts from the butcher, be sure to get all the fat trimmed off as fatty red meat is very harmful.

5. Go easy on salt and avoid cured red meat to keep sodium consumption in control.

6. If you already suffer from non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart conditions, obesity or high cholesterol, be medicine-compliant. In other words, do not miss a single dose of your regular medication and have it at the designated time.