26 Jun 2012

It's Monsoon. Be Cautious! Part 1

Hello Healthizens!

Sorry for the long hiatus.. Actually had been thinking of a new style of introducing and addressing Health related issues.

Let us start!
Case File No 1:

A family of 3 (Father Mother and a 2 year old kid) Sudden onset of guests on a Sunday evening leads to ordering Pizza (Jalandhari Tandoori Paneer) , Garlic bread with Cheese and Salad (Without Potato, Without Chana {Desi Chana or Kabuli Chana}and Without Pasta}as Home delivery from US Pizza.

Mum eats- 2 bites of Pizza, 1 garlic bread and 2 teaspoons of salad. 
Dad eats 2 slices of Pizza 3 garlic bread and salad.
Salad consisted mostly of Cucumbers, Olives, Corn, Cabbage and Mayo dressing.

12:30 midnight: Dad feels body ache has a bit of weakness has a Disprin and a small sachet of electral and goes off to sleep.
3:00 am Mum has loosemotions and is suffering from Fever, severe body ache and headache. Has a sachet of electral, a glass of milk and then a Crocin. Next day's visit to the Doc confirms the state of food poisoning. Medicines for 5 days given to clear out the food poisoning from the intestines.
Main Reason - 2 teaspoons of Salad :(
Mum argues: But howz it possible..only 2 teaspoons and food poisoning!
The only Reason Doc gave was: Madam Its monsoon Be Cautious!

Does this ring a bell in your mind? especially the last line?
Okay here are some guidelines which m sure are pretty much easy to follow.

1) When eating out take care that
a) Food does not contain raw items like : Cut fruits and vegetables, all type of Chutneys, Sprouts.


Reason : Raw items should be Ideally be - washed, cleaned with a cloth, cut with clean knife and then kept in an air tight container or any container with lid and stored in the Refrigerator. Whether these hygiene standards are being maintained by the vendors from whom you are eating food, is a bit doutful, plus the monsoon season which brings dampness everywhere contributes to increase the bacterial growth.
      Sprouts for better growth and cleanliness should be washed with potable water and all those sprouts that you eat or buy in packets from outside are not lucky enough to always get potable water for themselves !

b) Avoid Juices, if having them is inevitable have juices without Ice, and without Masala. In this season Tetra-packs are a good option.
Reason : Ice - We cannot be sure of the water from which Ice is prepared and also the cleanliness of the containers in which Ice has been kept plus the cloth with which the ice is covered, usually contains more bacteria than our Mop :). The container for Masala is almost never covered and becomes damp which leads to growth of fungi inside the container.

c) If you are having fried items, have them freshly made, don't eat fried items that have been kept for long.
Reason: More the number of times an oil is used more it looses its good properties and contributes to increasing our LDL and Cholesterol. Foods kept for long (even if properly covered) are a feast for bacteria especially in this damp season, because bacteria can't be stopped using a net cover :)

d) Fried foods are definitely better than Boiled.
Reason: Fried foods have been cooked at high temperature in oil which increases its shelf life and makes it more safer than the Boiled stuff.
e.g.: Omlette is better than a boiled egg.


e) Fermented foods like: Idli, Dosa, Uttapam,  Pizza, All type of Breads, Sandwiches made from it Dhokla etc. are a risky bet.

Reason: Fermentation is a process which requires optimum temperature which is usually perfect during summers. During monsoons this optimum temperature is usually not reached, leading the process to stay incomplete. Incomplete fermentation leads to Headache, Body ache, Stomach upset and in extreme cases Food poisoning etc.

f) Dairy products also a risky bet.

Reason: Optimum temperature storage is required for maintaining the good condition of Dairy products. Paneer is a strict No No. Curd is a good option, however the best option would be curds made at home. Pasteurised milk should be boiled immediatly after reaching home or stored in the freezer if to be used later. Although the list of dairy products is a lot more, The bottom line here is to buy such products from a reputed brand to be sure and safe (Because they have better storage equipments and lesser of power cut, and hence the quality of food stuff stored would be better)

g) Green leafy vegetables are safe to eat only when cooked personally at home or under strict supervision. 
Eating them outside gurantees no health instead may gurantee health problems...

h) Stick to eating from places that are always your safest bet rather than trying out different menus at different street vendors.

i) When compared, homemade tiffin is anytime better than outside food.
Be judicious enough to decide that is it safe to have your tiffin, depending on the number of hours it is kept outside and also depending on the temperature.

Okay Healthizens! That was my bit.
Hope this helps you in your efforts to make your life in Monsoons Healthy and Happy!
Suggestions are always welcome.

Happy Eating, Happy exercising and Happy Monsoon!!!
Manger sainement Say sécurité (Eat Healthy Stay Safe)