Why binge eating can be life threatening

Why binge eating can be life threatening
Following on from my article from last week on obesity, here is another one on the errors of wrong eating or binge eating. Binge eating is not only bad for you, it can also be lethal. A case in point is that of Dhaou Fatnassi, a 20-year-old man from Tunisia, who died in December 2012 after his friends dared him to eat 28 raw eggs in one sitting. Soon after eating the eggs, he felt severe stomach pains and collapsed. In October 2012, Edward Archbold died minutes after participating in a cockroach-and-worm-eating contest sponsored by Ben Siegel Reptiles in Florida, US.

Competitions that dare people to eat wrong and unhealthy food only serve to glamourise dysfunctional eating habits.

The dangers of consuming even one egg are already well-known, let alone 28! About 70 per cent of the calories in eggs are from fat, and a large portion of that fat is saturated. Just one fatty meal can raise blood pressure, boost triglycerides, stiffen major arteries, and cause the heart to beat harder, increasing the risk of heart attack.

Eggs are also loaded with cholesterol — about 212 milligrammes for an average-sized egg. And because eggshells are fragile and porous, eggs are the perfect host to salmonella. To avoid salmonella poisoning, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, US, says you should never eat raw eggs.

Most food-eating contests involve similarly unhealthy food: hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, or other high-fat, high-cholesterol foods. Joey Chestnut from the US ate 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes at the Super Bowl of competitive eating, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, Coney Island, New York.

Binging or eating contests are becoming popular in India too. In July 2012, an insurance consultant from Bangalore ate six kilos of ice cream in 30 minutes. And an engineering student gobbled a 17-inch pizza in 12 minutes 27 seconds. Both these contestants are no strangers to binge eating. They started from the time they were in class five in their school in Kodagu district of Karnataka. One of them could eat 32 slices of bread in 15 minutes and the other could eat 37 slices of bread in the same time. They participated in a burger-eating contest in December 2010 in a pub in Bangalore. Participants were expected to burrow through the ‘Oz burger’, which comprised of 10-ounces of beef, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles.

Saturated fat and cholesterol, as present in beef, bacon and other animal products are the major causes of disease in mankind today. Almost all cancers present in society today have their root cause in bad nutrition. Type 2 diabetes, which is circling the globe in almost an epidemic manner, has been proven to be the result of bad nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle. In India, the statistics are so bad that almost every fourth person is diabetic. Heart disease is fast creeping up and has been proven to be the result of eating fatty foods.

A nice healthy dish to eat instead of egg omelettes is a moong dal omelette.

Ingredients: Moong dal flour 3 tbsp, urad dal flour 2 tbsp, pinch of black salt, 100 grams button mushrooms, handful of chopped baby spinach leaves, salt to taste, pepper to taste, 1 tsp oil (optional)

Method: Wash and clean the mushrooms and slice fine. Saute them with salt and pepper, keep aside. Heat a ceramic pan. If using oil, add a tsp. While it is heating, mix the flours and black salt with some water to a pancake like consistency. Spoon some of the mixture onto the heated pan like you would a pancake. Once the bottom has cooked, add the mushrooms and spinach, sprinkle salt and pepper and fold over like an omelette. Cook on low till the whole omelette is cooked through.

(The writer is a vegan chef and author of The Vegan Kitchen:

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