How to eat healthy in the Spring Festival?

This year will be my sixth year in Beijing for the Spring Festival, and the New Year's Eve is always one of the most exciting moments of the year. I will have a good night with my wife, my parents, and my relatives. In these few hours, our 20-person family will continue to eat dumplings and snacks, and pour out all kinds of drinks. Whenever there is a lame singer on the TV who sings those vulgar songs, we will be excited to the screen.chinese new year thanksgiving health

Chinese new year thanksgiving health near midnight, we will jump on the roof, in the next hour to enjoy the ubiquitous fire tree silver flower in Beijing, listen to the rumbling sound of the firecrackers and sigh. It's hard to tell my American compatriots what a Spring Festival is like, it's like putting Thanksgiving, Christmas and the National Day together, but the atmosphere is much richer. It takes two weeks for the taste to slowly dissipate, and it will set off the last climax in the Lantern Festival.

  It is a pity that a major commonality between the Spring Festival and the American Festival is that the end is often grander than the beginning, and the way to end it is even more unhealthy for people. This forms another tradition of Chinese New Year, that is, a boring doctor like me persuaded readers and viewers in various news media not to celebrate the festive season. So now I have to challenge a difficult task, which is to advise you on your health without sacrificing your holiday feast. I can simply say "everything is temperate!", then let you go to the supermarket to buy things, but I prefer to explain a few questions first.

I think it's important to take a step back and make sure everyone realizes that the main culprit in causing death and disability in China and the United States is cardiovascular disease, especially heart disease and stroke. At the same time, a report released by the World Bank in 2011 was very interesting, which introduced China's share of the global burden of disease. As can be seen from the report, the situation in China is more serious than in the United States for some reasons. According to the report, the average healthy life expectancy of Chinese (age-affected by disease and disability) is only 66 years old, 10 years younger than some of the major countries in the G20. The report specifically pointed out that stroke has the greatest impact on “personal health and well-being”.

These data made me feel uncomfortable, but when I contacted Chinese patients, I found that most of them didn't know anything about it. Another warning from this report is that China's per capita salt intake exceeds 12 grams per day, which is more than twice the recommended limit. The danger is surprising. The World Bank said that excessive intake of salt "is the most common risk factor for Chinese people suffering from non-communicable diseases, but this factor can be adjusted." Eating too much salt is one of the main causes of high blood pressure and stroke, and reducing salt intake nationwide may be one of the fastest and lowest cost measures that public health groups can take. The channels for salt intake are mainly processed foods, such as instant noodles and a wide variety of flavours to astounding condiments.

How can these be associated with New Year's Eve? Most of us have celebrated the Spring Festival in peace. What worries me a lot is that after a typical holiday feast like Thanksgiving Day and New Year's Eve, the number of heart and stroke patients will soar, and there is a lot of literature on this. Emergency doctors in China and the United States have said that the number of patients will rise suddenly during Thanksgiving and Spring Festival and that many people are suffering from the excessive diet. At the Spring Festival banquet, people will eat a lot of high-salt food. Large amounts of salt can easily cause blood pressure to rise, and those most likely to have cardiovascular disease may have a stroke and myocardial infarction.

One of the saddest aspects of the festival is that people intend to relax and gather with friends and family. The last thing they want to do is to destroy the joyful atmosphere of the festival. Therefore, some people may have had a myocardial infarction during the meal, but in order not to affect others, they ignored the pain and waited until the end of the meal to seek medical advice. Others will mistake their heartache for stomach problems, such as indigestion or heartburn. They will wait until the next day to see a doctor or be sent to the emergency room. Then they will say "burning heart burns badly", but actually It is a myocardial infarction that has been onset for half a day.

Therefore, if today you have to take one of my suggestions home to destroy the festive atmosphere, then the suggestion is that if you feel that your left chest is stuffy or painful when you eat, especially if the pain is transmitted to your chin or left arm. Never wait until the next day to take action. I want to tell you very seriously: If you really have a myocardial infarction, you need to go to a nearby hospital for emergency treatment within 1.5-3 hours, otherwise, your chances of surviving will drop dramatically. For myocardial infarction, time is everything. You need immediate treatment when your heart is hypoxic, otherwise, your heart muscle tissue may be permanently necrotic – you may also say goodbye to everyone.

Maybe I shouldn’t say anything after I’ve played the old bureaucracy of “everything is temperate,” because this is obviously the best answer to avoid sorrow. I hope that everyone will use healthy cooking oil and low-salt seasonings when cooking festive foods, especially the most common but high-salt seasonings such as soy sauce. Also, the owner may be able to take out the smallest cutlery, because when using smaller plates, bowls and cups, people will eat less and feel fuller, which has been verified many times.

If you can't do this, you have to rely on ourselves to be self-disciplined in the face of food. I also want to convey Dr Liang Lijun's advice to everyone. He is a general practitioner like me and holds a master's degree in nutrition and public health.

He suggests that if you want to go to dinner at night, you should get up at the right time, have a decent breakfast, and then exercise so that you won't be so hungry at dinner. If you really want to focus on your health, then take a look at the dishes on the table, pick the dishes that are rich in colour, and try to eat the dishes that are good for your body. This leaves less room for greasy food, and greasy food will definitely make you gain weight. Be careful with the drinks as they may have a lot of heat. Be sure to have some tea (preferably herbal tea) or choose to drink red wine instead of a cocktail or beer. Besides, eat slowly, stop from time to time to talk with people around you, try to keep yourself away from the table after eating, this may be the most important point.

I have to take the lead in admitting that my self-control ability is very bad, and it takes me several weeks to reduce the weight of the holiday, and I am getting worse and worse in this regard. If you calculate how much heat I usually eat on the Thanksgiving table, this number alone can scare me out of heart disease. But I hope that the above suggestions will help some of you take action to ensure that you can spend every Spring Festival with your loved ones for many years to come.

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