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Momo lovers, here are 3 reasons to make you think twice about eating this street food!

The next time you salivate for a plate of dumplings, remember the likely side effects of momos on your health! An expert tells you what you must be careful about.
side effects of momos
Eat momos with care. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Radhika Bhirani Updated: 20 Jun 2022, 14:22 pm IST
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The monsoon season makes it a perfect time to dig into that wondrous-looking plate of steaming hot momos, teamed with the sizzling dip. Momo fans would totally agree! But it’s time you indulge in these hot and slippery dumplings with caution. While the importance of chewing food well has been underlined after a man choked to death upon swallowing a dumpling, it’s also important to know other side effects of momos.

According to recent media reports citing a case from Indian hospital AIIMS, a man choked to death while munching a momo because it got stuck in his upper airway. This has led doctors to advise and remind people that food must be chewed properly instead of being swallowed.

The rare case report, Corpus Alienum captured in Post Mortem Computed Tomography, from the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, All India Institute of Medical sciences (AIIMS), is published in the Journal of Forensic Imaging.

Over recent years, momos have found a wide fan following among people of all age groups. Fried, tandoori, steamed, curry varieties have emerged a rage among street food lovers. But if advise from nutrition experts is anything to by, side effects of momos on our health must not be ignored.

Nutritionist Avni Kaul tells Health Shots, “Momos were made for extremely cold weather, where people need high fat intake to survive the daily harsh climates and to live within mountain terrains. When city people with a sedentary lifestyle take momos, it can result in a lot of health hazards.”

What can be the side effects of momos?

1. Flour

Momos are made from maida, which is the most refined form of wheat flour and the making process of maida causes most of the wheat’s essential nutrients (including 97 percent of fiber) to get lost.

side effects of momos
Maida can raise your bad cholesterol so consume it in moderation. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

That’s not all! Here’s what Kaul tells us: “Commercially manufactured maida commonly uses bleach and chemicals to make it extremely soft and sparkling while. It’s believed that the bleach and chemicals used in commercial maida are very toxic and unhealthy for the body. Maida is one the leading food item that triggers obesity, diabetes, and severe gut issues.

2. Dip

The Indian momo sauce or dip is prepared with heavy use of commercially made chili powders that can trigger bleeding hemorrhoids or piles, adds Kaul.

3. Preparation

You’ve ought to be careful about where you are eating momos from. “Momos, prepared and sold by Indian roadside vendors, a lot of time use unwashed poorly cooked cabbages and carrots, and meats, which can increase the risk of stomach infection, and worm growth in the body.”

Importance of chewing and not swallowing momos

Of course, the recent case of choking from momo has alerted us! But food – in any form – must be chewed well. “Whether you are eating momos or any other solid or semi-solid food items, it is good to chew food initially properly, at least 20 to 25 times before swallowing it,” explains Kaul.

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side effects of momos
Chewing is the first step of digestion. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Proper chewing ensures better digestion.

“The more one chews their food, the easier it becomes for our digestive system to help the food to digest. It has been seen that those who do not chew food properly and swallow it quickly usually, face frequent digestion-related disorders.

Chewing leaves the food you eat small enough for the gastric juices in the stomach to further degrade it and reduce it to microscopic size. Thus, aiding in proper digestion. Besides, the chances are almost zero as far as food getting stuck in the food pipe is concerned.

The next time you eat these dumplings, keep the side effects of momos in mind!

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About the Author

Radhika Bhirani is a journalist with close to 15 years of experience in the Indian media industry. After writing extensively on health, lifestyle and entertainment, she leads the English content team at Health Shots. She has a special interest in writing on mental health and wellness. ...Read More

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