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EID-UL-FITR: FIVE TIPS FOR HEALTHY EATING

As Eid festival will be celebrated in Pakistan on Monday after a month of fasting i.e. Ramadan. It is the time when families come together to pray and celebrate this occasion. Food is an important part of any kind of celebration.

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After a month of fasting, people have to return to their pre-Ramadan eating schedule or normal eating habits. This may lead to heartburn or indigestion in the beginning as it takes time for the body to adjust to any sudden change in eating habits.

For this reason, it’s important to start with meals which are not too hard on the digestive system.

Here are some tips to celebrate Eid in a healthy way.

 Avoid heavy meals:

Meals with a high content of fat and sugar often cause digestive problems. As these meals take longer to digest, they remain in the stomach for a long period of time and causes gastric upsets, indigestion, flatulence and heartburn. When getting back to normal eating habits, start with lighter meals and choose healthy cooking options and ingredients.

Eat small, frequent meals:

Eating large, heavy meals at one go can create gastric problems. The larger the meal, the longer it takes for the stomach to digest it. Consuming short and frequent meals makes it easier for the stomach to digest it and this also stimulates metabolism. It is better to keep short gaps between meals, such as 3-4 hours rather than long gaps such as 6-7 hours.

Choose healthy ingredients:

Non-vegetarian foods are most popular at this time and are likely to form the bulk of your diet. Always select leaner cuts and remove the visible fat properly before cooking. While making sweets, avoid high amounts of condensed milk and be cautious with your use of sugar. Another good idea is to add foods that contain natural sugars such as fruits or dry fruits.

Opt for healthy cooking methods:

Instead of frying foods, they can be baked, grilled or barbecued. For example include foods such as chicken tikka, roasted chicken, baked fish/chicken with herbs, grilled sandwiches, grilled chicken or paneer, poached fish with herbs. Also avoid overcooking fish and vegetables, as excessive heat will lead to loss of important vitamins and minerals.

Consume less salt:

Do not use excessive salt in any recipe. It can be substituted with herbs and spices such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, coriander powder, pepper powder, chilli powder and lemon juice. These herbs and spices are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, healthy oils and some also have anti-bacterial properties. This makes them a better option as compared to salt.

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