Ramadan: Dietary recommendations for fasting

During the holy month of Ramadan, healthy adult Muslims practice the dawn-to-sunset fast on a daily basis. Traditionally, the fast is broken at sunset with a meal called iftar and then another meal is taken just before dawn called suhoor. Fasting has been shown to have positive health effects. Ibrahim Zaoro, Nutritionist, specialist in nutritional care for children, formulates dietary recommendations to be applied during the month of Ramadan.
Social life during the month of Ramadan is particularly active: People receive guests or are invited by relatives and friends. The tours are mainly centered around the fast breaking meal, which is a rich and festive meal, during which the best dishes are served. People fast during the day, stay awake, and eat during the evening hours. However, during Ramadan, some people may not be active in physical activities and, as a result, gain weight during the month. People with diabetes may not control their disease well because of unhealthy eating habits.

By following simple recommendations, you can lose weight and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Without it, overindulging in iftar or suhoor can lead to weight gain. Ramadan is often seen as a time to practice self-control, self-discipline, sacrifice and empathy with those who are less privileged. Maintaining these practices even outside of fasting times is encouraged.

"Rules to follow in matters of nutrition and health"

Drink plenty of water and eat moisturizing foods during Ramadan: Drink plenty of water between iftar and suhoor. High temperatures can also make you sweat more, so it's important to drink fluids to replace what you lose during the day (at least 10 glasses). You can also increase your water intake by eating moisturizing foods. Try adding watermelon to your suhoor or have it for dessert after iftar. The mixed salad contains a lot of water-rich cucumbers and tomatoes. Avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, and Coke, as caffeine can cause some people to need to urinate more often, which can lead to dehydration. Also, remember that carbonated drinks containing sugar will add calories to your diet. Foods rich in water can be served, such as soup or salad of fresh vegetables. This year, the Ramadan fast falls on long, wet days. On average, people fast between 15 and 16 hours a day. During the middle of the day when temperatures are high, it is important to stay in a cool, shady place and to avoid the sun.
Recharge your energy by taking a healthy and balanced iftar"

Eating three dates when you break your fast is a traditional and healthy way to start iftar. Dates are a great source of fiber. Incorporate plenty of vegetables into your meals to stock up on essential vitamins and nutrients. Choose whole grains, which provide the body with fiber and energy. Feast on lean grilled or baked meat, skinless chicken and fish for a good serving of healthy protein. In general, avoid fried and processed foods high in fat or sugar. Enjoy your meal and avoid overeating by eating slowly.

"It is recommended to take a suhoor"

The suhoor is the light meal taken before the start of the fast every day; this particularly applies to groups with special needs such as the elderly, adolescents, pregnant and nursing mothers, and children who choose to fast. This meal, which is a light breakfast, should include vegetables, a serving of carbohydrates like whole wheat bread / patties, high protein foods like dairy (unsalted cheese / labane / milk) and / or eggs, as well as a side dish of tahina / avocado.

Also, avoid consuming too many sweets after your iftar. Sweets commonly eaten during Ramadan contain large amounts of sugar syrup. The sugars recommended for consumption are fruits rich in water, such as watermelon / melon or any other seasonal fruit, such as peach or nectarine. You should try to reduce your consumption of foods high in fat, especially fatty meats, foods made from puff pastry, dough to which fat / margarine has been added or butter.
Rather than frying, it is recommended that you use other cooking methods, such as steaming, cooking in a sauce, sautéing in a small amount of oil and baking in the oven. In addition to this, foods containing large amounts of salt should be avoided, such as sausages, processed and salted meat or fish products, olives and pickles, appetizers, salty cheeses, various types. ready-made cakes, salads, spreads and sauces (such as mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup).

When preparing a meal, it is recommended to reduce the use of salt as much as possible and, of course, to remove the salt shaker from the table. Use herbs to enhance the flavor of cooked foods. Eat slowly and in quantities suited to individual needs. Large meals cause heartburn and discomfort. Try to move as much as possible and be active at night, for example by taking a regular daily walk.

"Fasting in case of diabetes and hypertension"

People with type 1 diabetes are generally advised not to fast. People with type 2 diabetes and hypertension whose condition is under control, whether through diet or medication, may be able to fast. However, they are advised to consult their doctor or dietitian for advice tailored to their situation.

By Adamaoua Correspondent

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