Oman wellness: Practice healthy eating habits during Ramadan
June 17, 2017 | 8:33 PM
by Sumaira Fatima
After breaking the fast, try to eat healthy and nutritious food.

During fasting no food or water is consumed from dawn till sunset. So during the fasting hours the body uses its stores of carbohydrates stored in liver and muscles. If right diet is followed during Ramadan it can help one lose weight and reduce triglycerides and cholesterol significantly. Choosing deep fried foods, creamy and sweet options with lots of sugar and fats does not fetch health benefits of fasting.

Eat Suhoor prior to 30 to 45 minutes of Fajr prayers. There is a wrong practice of eating heavy meal in the name of Suhoor which causes acid reflux with symptoms of heartburn, nausea, bloating, and belching which in turn makes fasting during the day uncomfortable.

Take a light and healthy meal comprising complex carbohydrates and healthy proteins and water to keep you active throughout the day. Foods like whole wheat breads, oats, quinoa, ready to use wholegrain cereals with milk, eggs, lentils, and low-fat dairy can complete the Suhoor. It is a significant and valued meal for people who are diabetic and are fasting. So it is important to take it on right time, choosing low glycemic index foods.

Iftar is the most privileged meal. It’s the time when family and friends celebrate the special season of Ramadan together. Try to keep it as simple as it can by breaking the fast with dates and water that gives instant energy.

Adding variety of fruits or fresh juices add up to nutrient boost.Try to avoid deep fried foods and spices as it delays absorption and disturbs digestion. Choose some whole grain cereal, sprouts, porridge or soups with lean meats and vegetables.

Haleem or harees, a well-known dish of Ramadan can be made into a healthier option by cutting down use of excessive ghee, oil, and choosing fat trimmed lean meats so that it becomes easily digestible and nutritious. Harees cereal, oats, and bulgur can be used in innovative ways to make the dish.

After breaking the fast, try to eat healthy and nutritious food. Try to finish you meal before (Taraweeh) special prayers offered during Ramadan. Eating heavy meals or late night eating causes weight gain, sleep disturbance, and acidity. It causes wide sugar fluctuations in people with diabetes.

Have a glass of milk, laban, yoghurt or a serving of nuts. Drink enough water and limit caffeinated and carbonated drinks. Some of the common health problems faced during Ramadan are gastritis, diarrhoea, constipation, and hypoglycaemia but right eating practices can prevent these health problems.

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Sumaira Fatima is Dietitian and Diabetic Educator at Apollo Sugar IMC, Muscat.

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