Eating Healthy during the Holidays

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By Dr. Victor Dumaguing

To Your Health

Friday, December 20, 2013


DO I hear a collective shout of protest from our readers, exclaiming at the top of their lungs, " Are you kidding?" True enough, especially in a country known to have the longest celebration of Christmas, in which the coming and the eventual birth of Christ is anticipated with food, glorious food. Indeed, from ritzy mansions to the humble nipa hut to the make shift barong barong, the dining table is always laden with food. And despite warnings and health awareness programs from our health agencies, the Filipino food is associated with the so-called "lifestyle-related illnesses" like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, stroke and heart attack. Indeed, high in sugar, dripping in fat and laden with salt!

Your columnist does not want to ruin or spoil your Holiday cheer by giving a litany of "donts" or "beware" because he himself is guilty of what every Filipino is guilty of during this merry season- something very close to the seven mortal sins which is gluttony. Kidding aside, we can have fun and hopefully. Minimize the damage to our vital organs.

Know the " enemy", meaning that if you know that pasta like spaghetti, noodles like pansit and rice are carbohydrates, then perhaps, decide on which one to take or if you are not happy not tasting all of the, , for heaven's sake, jsut get a lil amount of each, and not a mountain-full.
Nutritionist, dieticians and biochemists are all agreed that what makes food delicious is the fat content. If you are cooking for your family, vegetable oil would be better than the "kalabkab" or slab of pork fat our mothers buy in the market. Canola oil and olive oil are highly recommended. Now, if you're in a party, and the lechon or crispy pata is pur4e temptation, fine, enjoy it but try to lessen the fat absorption by munching salad of lettuce or any green leafy vegetable, whole indigestible, unabsorbed fibers would adsorb or stick to some of those fats decreasing their being absorbed into the blood.

For those, whose taste buds are accustomed to a high salt level, make sure that you have 8-10 glasses of water to wash them down and give your kidneys a break. Also make an effort to urinate more frequently than usual after a heavy-protein meal like meats because the uric acid sediments tend to form in very acidic, concentrated urines.

The list could go on and on, but as Ive promised, this columnist does not want to be a spoilsport or kill-joy, so as the song goes' although it's been said, many times, many ways, MERRY CHRISTMAS

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 21, 2013.

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