Pani Puri to ice cream, 6 street foods you must avoid this summer to prevent digestive issues | Health - Hindustan Times
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Pani Puri to ice cream, 6 street foods you must avoid this summer to prevent digestive issues

By, New Delhi
Apr 19, 2024 12:18 PM IST

Think twice before indulging in pani puri, ice cream, and lemonade bought from street vendors as contaminated water in these items can cause digestive trouble.

As Mumbai, Pune, Gujarat among other cities in India reel under heatwave conditions, it's important to take care of your gut health. Among the body functions that are most affected during hot summer months is your digestive system. During extreme heat conditions, our metabolism tends to slow down finding it hard to digest high-calorie and fatty foods. In high temperatures, bacteria and microbes thrive and this can increase risk of food-borne infections and digestive issues. Eating street foods without considering hygiene factors can be problematic during this time as one can contract typhoid, jaundice and other gut health issues. (Also read: What does stress do to your gut health? Here’s all you need to know)

Expert points out that the increasing number of typhoid and jaundice cases are linked to contaminated water used in the ice cream or pani puri which in turn can also cause abdominal distress such as cramps, dysentery, and unbearable pain.(Pinterest)
Expert points out that the increasing number of typhoid and jaundice cases are linked to contaminated water used in the ice cream or pani puri which in turn can also cause abdominal distress such as cramps, dysentery, and unbearable pain.(Pinterest)

Avoid buying foods like pani puri, ice cream, and lemonade from street vendors as contaminated water used in these items can cause digestive issues such as cramps, dysentery, and pain.

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"Summer is here! It is the time when children indulge in delicious and tempting street food delicacies that are available on the streets in the country. Popular items that children often love eating are pani puri, and the creamy and sweet ice cream. These treats can help satisfy the child’s cravings during the scorching heat of summer. However, it's essential to be cautious about where one sources these snacks as the place can be unhygienic. Even improper handling and poor sanitation can lead to dangerous consequences such as typhoid, jaundice, and dysentery," says Dr Amit P Ghawade, Consultant- Pediatrician and Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Kharghar, Mumbai.

Dr Ghawade points out that the increasing number of typhoid and jaundice cases are linked to contaminated water used in the ice cream or pani puri which in turn can also cause abdominal distress such as cramps, dysentery, and unbearable pain.

STREET FOODS TO AVOID THIS SUMMER

Dr Manjusha Agarwal, Senior Consultant Internal Medicine Gleneagles Hospitals Parel Mumbai shares a list of street foods one must consider avoiding this summer to protect health.

1. Cut fruits and vegetables: While fresh fruits and salads may seem like a healthy choice, those that are left uncovered and exposed to the heat can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria. Consuming contaminated fruits and vegetables can lead to food poisoning and gastrointestinal issues.

2. Seafood: Fish tacos, ceviche, and shrimp skewers are popular street food items, especially in coastal regions. However, seafood is highly perishable and can spoil quickly in the heat, increasing the risk of foodborne illnesses like bacterial infections and parasitic diseases.

3. Dairy-based desserts: Ice cream, kulfi, and milkshakes are popular summer treats. However, these desserts require proper refrigeration to prevent bacterial growth. Consuming dairy products that have been left out in the heat can lead to stomach upset and foodborne illnesses.

4. Grilled meat skewers and kebabs: They may be a staple of summer street food festivals, but they can be risky if not cooked thoroughly. Undercooked or improperly handled meat can harbour harmful bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella, causing severe food poisoning.

5. Chutney: Street food vendors often use homemade or unpasteurized sauces, chutneys, and condiments to enhance the flavour of their dishes. These condiments can be a hidden source of contamination if not stored and handled properly. Consuming contaminated sauces and condiments can increase the risk of foodborne illnesses.

6. Lemonade: Freshly squeezed juices, lemonades, and other beverages may seem refreshing, but they can pose a risk if made with unpasteurised or contaminated ingredients. Unpasteurised juices can lead to infections and gastrointestinal problems.

"To deal with typhoid, jaundice, and dysentery in children will require prompt medical intervention for quick recovery. Take the medication prescribed by the doctor, eat home-cooked nutritious food, ensure proper sanitation, maintain personal hygiene, and wash hands before eating. To manage dysentery, give oral rehydration solution to the child. Follow these guidelines and make sure that the child stays happy and healthy during summer. In case, your child wants to eat chaat prepare it at home under hygienic conditions," concludes Dr Ghawade.

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