How to fast healthily during Ramadan September 11, 2008Posted by menadahhidayah in Uncategorized.
|With the month of Ramadan upon us it is useful to look at ways of trying to maintain a healthy diet whilst fasting. Fasting for 12 to 24 hours or more can lead to dizziness and fatigue and a lowering of metabolic rate as a means of conserving calories or energy. Here are some simple guidelines to make sure that your diet remains balanced and healthy during this fasting period:
Don’t skip breakfast (Suhoor)
Eat a wide variety of foods
· Breads, cereals and other grain products
· Fruit and vegetables
· Meat, fish and poultry
· Milk, cheese and yoghurt
· Fats and sugars (these are low in nutrients & high in calories, so limit intake!)
Eat low glycaemic (GI) foods at breakfast to help control blood sugar levels
Be aware of your cooking methods
· Always trim off excess fat from before cooking, or use venison, chicken and soya as lower fat options. Remove poultry skin & choose light meat (eg. breast).
· Cut down on fat intake during cooking:
– cook onions in a little water or vegetable stock rather than oil or butter
– use non-stick frying pans & non-stick sprays rather than oil or margarine
– bake, grill or roast foods rather than frying
– cook roasted meat or poultry on a wire rack so that the fat can drip off
– Steam or boil vegetables
– when preparing rice, noodles & other grains, season with herbs, spices & broths rather than added fat
– prepare soups, gravies & sauces in advance, so that they can be refrigerated, allowing you to remove the layer of fat that forms on top.
– Use herbs and spices to add flavour & zest to low-fat cooking. Basil, bay leaf, oregano, & rosemary add distinctive flavours & colours to meat & vegetables. Spices, like cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg enhance the sweet taste of foods, & seasoning blends, such as chilli powder, curry powder provide a complex array of flavours
· Avoid taking in too much salt
– Use garlic, dry mustard, pepper, onions, mushrooms & tomatoes to add flavour to meat and vegetables
· Make healthy changes to recipes
Eat enough carbohydrate foods – especially those rich in fibre
Remember your fruits and vegetables
Drink sufficient fluid
We all know that maintaining a balanced diet by eating healthily has a vital influence on your well being. Try following the above principles so that this fast period does not sway too much from the principles of good nutrition.
This article provides useful advice on how to avoid some common problems encountered in Ramadhan. The advice should enable one to fast comfortably and enjoy fully the spiritual benefits of Ramadhan.
During Ramadhan, our diet should not differ greatly from normal and should be as simple as possible. We should be able to maintain our normal weight, neither losing nor gaining. However, if one is over-weight, Ramadhan is an ideal time to lose weight.
We should aim to consume slow digesting foods including fiber-containing foods. Slow-digesting foods last up to 8 hours, while fast-digesting foods last only 3 to 4 hours.
Slow-digesting foods are foods that contain grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, semolina, beans, lentils, whole meal flour, etc. (complex carbohydrates).
Fast-burning foods are foods that contain sugar, white flour, etc. (refined carbohydrates).
Fibre-containing foods are bran-containing foods, whole wheat, grains, seeds, vegetables like green beans, peas, sem (papry), marrow, mealies, spinach, methie, fruit with skin, dried fruit especially dried apricots, figs and prunes, almonds, etc.
Meals should be well-balanced, containing foods from each food group, i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat/chicken/fish, bread/cereals and dairy products. Fried foods should be limited. They cause indigestion, heart-burn, and weight problems.
Fried and fatty foods.
Foods containing too much sugar.
Over-eating especially at sehri.
Too much tea at sehri. Tea makes you pass more urine taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body would need during the day.
Smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadhan.
Complex carbohydrates at sehri so that the food lasts longer.
Haleem is an excellent source of protein and is a slow-burning food.
Dates are excellent source of sugar, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium & magnesium.
Almonds are rich in protein and fibre with less fat.
Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates.
As much water or fruit juices as possible between iftar and bedtime so that your body may adjust fluid levels in time.
CONSTIPATION – Constipation can cause piles (haemorroids), fissures (cracks in anal canal) and indigestion, with a bloated feeling.
INDIGESTION AND WIND
LETHARGY (‘low blood pressure’)
LOW BLOOD SUGAR
PEPTIC ULCERS, HEART BURN, AND GASTRITIS
Source: Dr. Farouk Haffejee