Public advised: More veggies for the holidays

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A medical expert has advised the public to include more vegetable dishes in their menu this holiday season in order to take good care of the heart.

“When eating, it is better if you eat more vegetables. Make sure that when you prepare food (for Christmas), there is lechon, ham, cheese, spaghetti – everything delicious… But remember to balance it with high-fiber food like vegetables,” Philippine Heart Association on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) chairman Dr. Don Robespierre Reyes said in a recent televised interview.

“Don’t forget to prepare vegetable-based dishes and eat more of it, and fruits, as well,” Reyes added.

The cardiology expert, however, maintained that this recommendation applies to the “healthy general population.”

“Because if you are already hypertensive, have kidney disease, diabetic and suffering from other illnesses, you really have to be careful and eat in moderation,” he said.

“I believe we need not deprive ourselves of food served during Christmas. It is just that we have to be conscious of the amount of food we eat every mealtime,” he added.

During the holiday season, the public should avoid or minimize food that are too salty and too sweet as well as fatty food, according to Reyes.

“If we eat food that are too salty, like those with sauces, our blood pressure might shoot up like 200 or 180 over 100 – that is very high, it might result to a heart attack or stroke or any emergency that might affect the heart and blood vessels,” he said.

“As to sweets, people, especially diabetics, we have what we call diabetic ketoacidosis – if you have very high sugar level in your body, it could also result in an emergency that might lead to death,” he added.

On fatty food, the expert stressed that fats, when accumulated in the body, could lead to stroke.

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