Hidden Health Risks: How Momos and Street Food Can Lead to Diabetes

Normal street food can cause severe complications and disease, Prevention is the best treatment
Indian Momos (Wikimedia Commons)
Indian Momos (Wikimedia Commons)

India is one of the leading countries in the field of street food, where different types of ingredients, spices, and raw materials are used. As street food vendors don't have enough budget to purchase high-quality goods and materials, they often opt for the cheapest options, which are almost always unhealthy. Foods like Indian Chinese, Momos, Pani Puri, Vada Pav, etc., are not cooked to healthy standards, which causes a variety of health conditions.

Dr. Yokesh Arul, MBBS, MD and medicine resident shared information on street food which causes various diseases through a reel on Instagram ( @dryokesharul) in which he mentioned one of the disease-causing foods that is very famous in India is Momos, also known as dumplings. Made with maida (all-purpose flour) and other ingredients based on what the customer orders, Momos are very popular among teenagers, especially in northern states like Delhi. In this reel, he stated that the maida used in Momos is made with different chemicals like alloxan, azodicarbonamide, and hydrogen peroxide. Adulteration of the ingredient makes it financially cheap, soft in texture, and white in color. These chemicals are very harmful if consumed daily. According to research, alloxan can cause pancreatic damage, leading to a decrease in beta cells and a decrease in insulin production, which eventually causes diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood glucose levels due to decreased production of insulin, action of insulin, or both. There are two types of diabetes mellitus: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks beta cells that produce insulin. Type 2, the most common type of diabetes mellitus, occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin. Diabetes can be caused by family history, obesity, ethnicity (Asians, African Americans, and Hispanics are more susceptible), age, etc. There are many therapeutic treatments to deal with the symptoms and complications of diabetes mellitus, including medication, insulin injections, patches, changes in diet, etc.

Once in a while, it is fine to eat but if you consume it regularly say hello to diabetes in a couple of years
Dr. Yokesh Arul, MBBS, MD

Vendors often use rancid oil to cook food, which can cause major heart problems. Hydrogen peroxide and azodicarbonamide can also cause damage to the pancreas, leading to diabetes mellitus. Similar to this, there are many other ingredients and spices that can cause ulcers, food poisoning, and similar complications.

Oil used for street food (Wikimedia Commons)
Oil used for street food (Wikimedia Commons)

Using rancid oil can cause cardiovascular problems like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, arrhythmias, etc. It can also increase overall fat levels in the body, which can lead to obesity and fatty liver disease.

In conclusion, everything should be done in moderation. Eating street food once in a while is fine, but consuming it every day can cause severe complications. Stay smart, stay safe.

References:

Lenzen, S. (2008). The mechanisms of alloxan- and streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Diabetologia, 51(2), 216-226. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11829314/

Larsen, M. O., Rolin, B., & Wilken, M. (1999). Mild streptozotocin diabetes in the Gottingen minipig. A stable model for evaluating antidiabetic agents and islet grafting. Diabetes, 48(3), 348-353. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9683134/

American Diabetes Association. (2022). Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2022. Diabetes Care, 45(Supplement 1), S1-S264.Moss, J. (2020). T

The impact of rancid oils on health: A comprehensive review. Journal of Nutritional Health, 8(3), 123-135.

By Yash Kamble

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