People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday.
Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday.
Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate several in one sitting, Chu said.
He later developed bloating, gastric acid reflux and hiccuping, and sought medical help, he said.
Chu said that the glutinous rice in zongzi cannot be easily digested, while other ingredients and their preparation methods lead to high levels of fat and salt, and low dietary fiber.
He advised people not to eat too many zongzi, as the slowdown of digestion would lead to gas buildup and other discomfort, which would exacerbate conditions such as diabetes.
When people consume excessive amounts of food that is high in fat, but has little dietary fiber, the gas buildup would cause bloating and discomfort in the stomach, he added.
People with diabetes should get the disease under control, and take medication to improve stomach and bowel movement, and reduce bloating, Chu said.
They should consume soft foods with low fat, cut the food into small pieces and chew thoroughly to reduce the burden on the stomach, he said.
“It is best to go with vegetable dishes to increase fiber content, which can soothe the greasy after-taste palate, and mitigate the load on the digestive tract, and also hold back the blood-sugar level,” he said.
Indigestion and bloating can have other causes that might be difficult for doctors to diagnose, including irritable bowel syndrome, bacterial growth in the small intestine, and carbohydrate or galactose intolerance, which can lead to constipation and diarrhea, he added.
Chu advised people to avoid food that is likely to cause bloating, such as lentils and legumes, milk, yams, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, onions and high-fat foods, and to seek medical treatment if the condition does not improve.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
More than half of Taiwan’s middle-aged population, those aged between 40 and 64, have at least one of the “three highs” — high blood pressure, high blood lipids or high blood sugar — and an unhealthy waist size, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said, adding that more than 30 percent also have metabolic syndrome. The HPA, the Taiwan Millennium Health Foundation and local health departments are cooperating to encourage people to regularly measure their waist circumference and keep it at a healthy size — no more than 90cm for adult men and no more than 80cm for adult women. Taichung Veterans General