Avoid tea, coffee before and after food: ICMR

Representative image for coffee. Photo: Formatoriginal / Shutterstock

New Delhi: A large number of people love a cup of coffee or tea before or after food. However, this habit could harm your health, warns the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). In a set of guidelines on good health and food habits released recently, ICMR has advised people not to consume these beverages within one hour before and after regular meals. According to the council, the compound tannin present in these drinks hampers the body’s ability to absorb iron, leading to anaemia.

In yet another warning to tea and coffee lovers, ICMR says that taking several cups of these beverages could lead to addiction. ICMR explains that the caffeine present in these drinks could stimulate the nervous system, causing this condition. Making matters worse, the chances of developing hypertension and heart disease will increase with more consumption of tea or coffee. At the same time, ICMR advises people to drink tea and coffee without milk, to reduce health risks.

The ICMR report also says that the reasons for 56 per cent of the diseases reported in the country are related to bad food habits.
The major suggestions in the report include the following:
1) Ensure sufficient intake of vegetables and pulses
2) Reduce the consumption of oil and fat
3) Avoid protein supplements which promise to increase muscle mass. Instead, consume good proteins and amino acids
4) Be physically active – engage in exercise
5) Use less salt while cooking
6) Eat less amounts of processed food items and those which are excessively sweet and salty

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