The 5 foods nutritionists skip at the holiday buffet to avoid nasty ‘traveller’s tummy’

FROM sightseeing, to swimming and dining out, you probably have a number of fun activities planned when you’re travelling abroad.

Getting a nasty case of ‘traveller’s tummy’ and being stuck on your hotel loo probably isn’t one of them.

GettyWhether you’re grazing your hotel buffet or traipsing through a local food market, there are a few eating rules it would be wise to adhere to[/caption]

According to the NHS, it’s one of the most common problems experienced during travel.

Though your holiday runs will usually clear up within three to five days, our guess is you’d rather avoid them altogether while you’re enjoying a well-deserved holiday.

It turns out, the food you eat can have a lot do with your likelihood of being struck doing with diarrhoea while abroad.

“Traveling exposes you to new food sources, local food handling procedures and different cleanliness standards,” Leah Silberman, a registered dietitian with Medical Offices of Manhattan, told HuffPost.

“This raises your chances of coming into contact with infections or pollutants, against which your body may not have built protection.”

According to the NHS Fit to Travel guidance, travellers’ diarrhoea can be caused by many different germs like bacteria (E.coli, Salmonella), viruses like norovirus and parasites.

All these germs are spread through eating and drinking contaminated food and water, or using contaminated dishes and cutlery.

Whether you’re grazing your hotel buffet or traipsing through a local food market, there are a few eating rules it would be wise to adhere to, according to experts.

If you want to be extra informed, you can also search through the CDC’s traveller health website by country, to get an idea of what to avoid.

1. Raw fish and meat

Raw meat and seafood are a “big no-no” when travelling abroad to certain spots, according to Vanessa Rissetto, a registered dietitian and co-founder and CEO of Culina Health.

“We can’t source where they came from, how long they’ve been out, and how they’ve been handled.”

Lea told HuffPost that rare steaks, tartare, sushi, ceviche or raw seafood, or inadequately prepared meat, fish or seafood can all increase your risk of consuming bacteria, parasites or viruses, which can result in you becoming ill.

Meanwhile, the NHS Fit for Travel guide notes that fish and shellfish can be hazardous even if well cooked.

It also said you should avoid any meat that is still red or pink, or has red or pink juices.

3. Tap water

This might take some getting used to while you’re travelling, but health experts tend to recommend that you avoid tap water, depending on where you’re visiting.

This because contaminated water is a major culprit behind many travellers’ runny tummies.

Mitzi Baum, CEO of the nonprofit Stop Foodborne Illness.explained: “Since pathogens aren’t visible to the naked eye, it’s hard to tell if the water is safe to drink.”

It’s best practice to drink or brush your teeth with water that’s been bottled or canned by a known manufacturer and the seal is intact, NHS guidance states.

Alternatively, you can boil and cool water before storing it in a clean container, or filter it with a reliable water filter.

You should ask that none of your drinks contain ice cubes.

But the following beverages are safe to consume:

hot tea and coffee if boiled water has been usedbeer, wine and other alcoholic drinksfizzy drinks from sealed cans and bottlespasteurised juices

It’s a good idea to look up how safe it is to drink water in your travel destination – you can search through the CDC’s traveller health website by country.

And the NHS has some in depth advice on how to purify your water.

3. Fresh fruit and veg

You wouldn’t think that fresh fruit or veggies could be particularly menacing for your health.

But according to Vanessa, they could pick up germs is they’ve been sat out for a while, so it’s best to opt for produce that’s been cooked hot enough to kill any pathogens.

If you still want to indulge in fruit or vegetables, it’s best to opt for ones you can peel – make sure to peel them yourself.

And they should all be washed in water you can drink.

Meanwhile, Lea added that you should pick produce with thick skins, such as bananas, oranges and avocados.

The NHS stressed that you should avoid raspberries in particular, as they’re difficult to wash and and could give you cyclosporiasis, an infection causing diarrhoea that is caught from contaminated raw fruit and vegetables or water.

Salad and fresh herbs are best avoided – this includes garnishes in your drinks, such as mint leaves in mojitos. All of these may have been washed in contaminated water.

And it’s best to opt for fruit juice that comes in sealed cartons – though a freshly squeezed juice is a lovely accompaniment to your brekkie, it may have been made with unwashed fruit.

4. Dairy

Pasteurised dairy should be safe to consume.

But holiday staples such as ice cream, as well as cheese and yoghurt, are likely to contain hazardous germs, like listeria, salmonella or E. coli, Lea said.

Choose well-established retailers or brands if eating unpasteurised cheeses or ice cream, the NHS advised.

And dairy that’s stored or left to sit out in room temperature is also best avoided – this can include cream or milk for your coffee or tea.

You might also want to pass on dishes containing or undercooked eggs, such as mayonnaise, some sauces or desserts like mousse.

5. Some street food

When straying from your hotel buffet, sampling different street foods can seem like a fantastic way to get a taste of the local cuisine in the spot you’re visiting.

But some food stalls might not adhere as well to safety practices like like hand-washing and checking food temperatures.

That being said, food that comes straight off the grill and is piping hot is likely safer to eat – but definitely go past any stalls whose items seem to have been sitting out for a while.

What to do if you’re struck down by traveller’s tummy

Despite taking all the precautions, sometimes it’s inevitable you’ll experience the three or more bouts of loose, watery poos that characterise travellers’ tummy.

You’re most likely to get it in your first week of travel, and it many cases you won’t need specific treatment.

Whether it’s mild or a more severe case of the runs, you should be making sure you don’t get dehydrated by drinking plenty of fluids such as water, diluted fruit juices or oral rehydration salt solutions like Dioralyte.

If your diarrhoea has began disrupting your plans, you can opt for medicines such as Imodium or Lomotil, according to NHS guidance, which can help with tummy pains too.

But you should seek medical attention if you find you can’t continue your planned activities and you have had more than six episodes of diarrhoea in a 24 hour period.

Blood or mucus in your poo, as well as severe tummy pain or vomiting, are also signs you should see a medical professional.

On the subject of summer meals, Dr Micheal Mosley previously recommended which foods you should avoid at your hotel breakfast buffet if you’re trying to eat healthily.

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