Ramadan Kareem Everyone.
Ramadan is a special holy month for Muslims and a special occasion when families prepare their favourite traditional foods and sit down together with relatives and friends to enjoy the mouth-watering delicacies. However, during Ramadan many of us follow bad eating habits and routines and also sometimes tend to over-indulge. Ramadan is a practice to create balance, whether eating or behavior. SidSirus.com sat down with Dr. Ahmed Alhaj Saleh, Consultant Internal Medicine at Medeor 24×7 Hospital to get his suggestions on how to stay hydrated and avoid overeating.
Do not over-eat: Over-eating during Ramadan can lead to complications such as abdominal discomfort, gastric distension, difficulty in breathing and even vomiting. When breaking their fast, people should try to eat slowly to allow their body to register when they are full, which takes 20 minutes. Once they are full they should stop eating. Protein-filled foods will help people feel fuller for longer, while sugar-laden foods will cause spikes in energy, followed by a slump. Sweet treats can be consumed in moderation but making healthier choices during Iftar and Suhoor will make fasting more comfortable.
Stay Hydrated: During Ramadan, people go for up to 15 hours without food or water. Dehydration can become a major problem, especially in elderly people, so it is important to consume adequate water when they break their fast. People should stay away from too many dehydrating drinks like coffee, and ensure they consume at least eight glasses of water between Iftar and Suhoor.
Go easy on the oil: Deep fried pakoras, bhajjis, samosas are a staple of Iftar tables but these foods can disturb the metabolism and can cause dizziness, headaches and fatigue. People should reduce high calorie condensed diet because of load on the stomach which has been dry for the whole day. Therefore, at Iftar they should start with light meals instead of heavy meals with concentration on fluids. For example: Break your fast with dates and a glass of water or laban. Next have a warm soup, to replenish fluid in the body and help settle the digestive system. A balanced meal after should contain complex carbohydrates, protein, fruits and vegetables.
Medical Ailments: Fasting is mandatory for every mature healthy adult but there are some medical conditions which prevent people from fasting such as:
- Patients with Type1 diabetes, mellitus who are on regular insulin treatment should not fast all
- Patients who are on medication
- Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- People who are senile, or physically very weak
- People who are travelling which can be compensated on later days
- Patients with mental illnesses
Chronic Illness especially Diabetes: People with diabetes, mellitus or chronic diseases such as heart diseases should consult medical services for any risk of fasting on their well-being. Diabetic patients who are fasting and are under medication should switch the time of their medication. The dose which is prescribed for the morning has to be taken after Iftar and usual evening dose to be taken after Suhoor.
Conserve Energy: Avoid attending or hosting too many Iftar parties as this increases the stress on the body and will make observing the fast all the more harder. Make sure you receive a good night’s rest in order for your body to rejuvenate for the next day.
“It’s very important to maintain healthy and nutritious eating habits during Ramadan and one must follow a balanced diet during the Ramadan celebrations. Do not over-indulge, and try to break your fast slowly. Stay well hydrated and indulge in fibre-rich foods and fruits this Ramadan” said Dr. Mohamed Berer, the Medical Director at Medeor 24×7 Hospital, Dubai.