Eating Habits During Eid Al-Adha

H. Tanju Besler, Ph.D., Professor, Sabri Ülker Food Research Foundation Science Committee Member, and Lecturer at Eastern Mediterranean University, gives guidance in preventing discomfort due to wrong eating habits during Eid-al-Adha, and he expresses the need to pay attention to cooking techniques, portion control, and so on. He places emphasis on food diversity for healthy, sufficient and balanced nutrition, adding the importance of cooking foods correctly and storing them in suitable conditions. Hygiene rules must also be followed in order to minimize loss of nutritional elements and eliminate the factors that pose a risk for diseases. At the time of increased meat consumption during Eid-al-Adha, to remain healthy, it is crucial to consume lighter foods in moderation, not only for the main meal but also for snacks during family and friends visits. Professor Besler points out one of the most common mistakes made as eating the sacrificed animal’s meat immediately after being slaughtered, and even for breakfast. Slaughtered meat has to be set aside for at least 12–24 before consumption. He points out digestive system problems such as indigestion, bloating, constipation and diarrhea that may be caused by fresh meat since it is harder. These conditions can result in sleep disorders. Thus, those who can’t give up fresh meat need to cook it well and consume in moderation if possible.

It must be cooked for a long time at the lowest heat!

Excessive protein and fat intake occurs due to disproportionate amount of meat consumption during Eid-al-Adha. Moreover, additional oil added during cooking triggers many diseases and illnesses. Thus, portion control is the most critical element.
In order to prevent digestive system problems arising from excessive meat consumption, it is recommended to consume foods that are relatively easier to digest such as eggs, cheese, tomatoes, greens and brown bread in the morning. Particularly, yogurt and ayran are basic and healthy choices.
Cooking is central to consuming freshly slaughtered meat. The healthiest way to cook the meat is on low heat for a long time and without adding any oil. Pressure cookers can be used for that.
Cooking methods like frying or barbecuing are not recommended. The healthiest methods to cook the meat are pan-broiling, cooking in the oven, or stewing.
For barbecuing, there must be at least 15–20 cm between the fire and the meat and other foods. Fast cooking causes the inside of the meat to stay raw as the outer layer gets hard.
Slaughtered meat that is cooked well and properly should be accompanied by green salad and other dark-color green leaf vegetables, and yogurt. For drink; no-salt ayran or low-salt ayran, or kefir stand out as good choices.

Watch out for snacks during family and friends visits

It is important to stick to the usual three-meal regimen, also during Eid-al-Adha. Professor Besler maintains the need to consume light foods in moderation for snacks offered at Eid-al-Adha dinners and feasts. He suggests asking the host, “to cut down on the portions offered” if possible.
People with diabetes or blood pressure problems must particularly watch out for chocolate and candy consumption. Instead of dough-based desserts with sherbet, opt out for fresh fruits, and desserts with fruits and milk.
Similarly, it’s best to stay away from sarma (stuffed vine leaves) and börek (baked filled pastries made of phyllo dough). These items can be replaced by dried fruits and nuts as healthier alternatives.
1- (Erişim 07.08.2016; 16:17)
2- (Erişim 07.08.2016; 16:18)
3- (Erişim 07.08.2016;16:21)


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