What does a balanced diet should be like?
Traditionally, while fasting in Ramadan, Muslims should have two meals a day: one after sunset (Iftar) and one before sunrise (Suhoor). Experts suggest keeping your food intake simple and right to the point. To be specific, a well-planned meal for Ramadan fasting should include foods from all major food groups:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Bread, cereals and potatoes
- Meat, fish or alternatives
- Milk and dairies
- Healthy fat and sugar
Refrain from eating too much sugary food. Instead, stock up on healthier sources of carbohydrate. Good sources include wholegrains, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and lower fat dairy products. To keep your digestive system running well, you should have high fiber foods. Another perk for fiber is that it keeps you fuller for a longer time. Some good sources of fiber are:
- Starchy foods (especially wholegrains)
It’s best to stay away from caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, and energy beverage) since caffeine is a diuretic, which means it encourages urination, making you dehydrate faster.
Suhoor, the meal before sunrise, should be a wholesome and moderate meal which can fill up your stomach and offer sufficient energy for your whole day. Foods that take a long time to break down such as pitta bread, salad, cereal (especially oats) or toast provide a constant release of energy. Your body may benefit from fluids infused with vitamins and minerals such as fruit juice or isotonic drinks.
Many Muslims break their fasting day with dates – a type of high energy food with revitalizing effects. During the time between sunset and sunrise, try to drink plenty of water to rehydrate and lower your tendency of getting carried away with the variety of foods offered in the markets.
Foods to avoid
- Deep-fried foods – such as pakoras, samosas and fried dumplings
- Foods high in sugar and fats – sweets such as gulab jamun, rasgulla, and balushahi
- Foods cook with loads of oil – such as parathas, oily curries, and greasy pastries
Healthy alternatives for those foods include:
- Baked samosas and boiled dumplings
- Chapattis prepared without oil
- Baked or grilled meat and chicken
- Homemade pastry with only a single layer
- Milk-based sweets and puddings (rasmalai and barfee)
Cooking methods to avoid:
- Deep frying
- Excessive use of oil
Healthy cooking methods you should consider:
- Shallow frying – this method offers almost the same taste
- Grilling or baking – this method keeps the taste and original flavour of the food intact, especially when it comes to chicken and fish
Be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning in the kitchen
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas which does not have any smell or taste, making it hard to be detected. Inhalation of high levels of carbon monoxide can be life-threatening. Cooking for many people using huge pots on gas stoves may cause carbon monoxide to build up in your kitchen, especially if you don’t have a good ventilation system.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 3, 2018 | Last Modified: May 3, 2018
Fasting and your health. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Healthyramadan/Pages/fastingandhealth.aspx. Accessed May 25, 2017.