Nutrition

Healthy eating habits in Ramadan

Shaima Al Khaldi / Sports Dietitian
Aspetar
22 June, 2015

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In Ramadan, people like to eat a large amount of food. This habit can put them in health related issues especially if their food was high in simple sugar and fat. Ramadan should be a great opportunity for people to take advantage of it, improve and enhance their health and nutrition status and any related issues.

When Muslims break their fast, it is preferred that they eat a small amount of dates and laban or yoghurt, go to pray and then start their main meal. Make sure that main course is healthy and balanced; for example you can have: 60 g of skinless chicken or lean meat cut, ½ Arabic bread or 1 cup of rice, vegetables soup or stew and green salad.

It is advised to stay away from eating salty snacks because you will you feel thirsty during the day. As well, having high sugar foods cause the feeling of hunger. Vegetables that contain high percentage of water, such as lettuce and cucumbers, makes the body retain water for a long time, and reduces the sensation of thirst or dehydration, they are also a good source of vitamins and minerals. It is also preferred to have foods with medium speed in digestion, such as fava beans with olive oil or cheese and eggs. It helps to avoid the sense of hunger throughout the fasting period by staying in the stomach for 7 to 9 hours. Foods that are better to have in the Suhoor meal are: whole wheat products (bread or cereals), banana, potato, milk, dried fruits, high fibre foods and others.

Tips for healthy eating during Ramadan:

• Eat slowly, especially at Iftar to avoid indigestion.

• Eat fiber-rich foods.

• Avoid eating fatty and fried food.

• Drink water with meals, as well as during the period between Iftar and bedtime.

• Do not drink coffee or tea before fasting, because it is a diuretic and thus can cause the loss of mineral salts and water, which the body needs throughout the day.

There are a lot of unhealthy traditional food that are made in Ramadan which are high in simple sugar and fat , therefore it is important to minimize them of your total intake each day.

Healthy alternatives tips could be:

  • baked sambosa instead of fried ones
  • baked or grilled meat and chicken
  • Milk-based sweets and puddings such as mahlabya and Om-ali instead of deep fried sweets .

Healthy cooking methods to avoid deep frying, frying and excessive use of oil are:

  • Grilling or baking is healthier and helps retain the taste and original flavor of the food, especially with chicken and fish.
  • Shallow frying.

 

 

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