Ramadan 2014—Sifting through the behavioral baggage—episode 7

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Don’t break your fast with a feast or you may put on weight instead of losing it and, senselessly overeating during sahoor may grant you some unnecessary headache, uneasiness and fatigue.

Yes, today’s topic is all about food. It’s all about the eating marathons that we always do during this blessed month.

Without much ado, let me lay out the main points of this topic based on the works of Dr. Razeen Mahroof, an anaesthetist from Oxford. According to Dr. Mahroof, your food intake should be simple and not differ too much from your normal diet. It should contain foods from all the major food groups.

“Suhoor should be light and include slow digesting food like pitta bread, salad, cereal (especially oats) or toast so that you have a constant release of energy,” Dr Mahroof says.

“It’s important to have some fluids with vitamins, such as fruit juice or fruit. Some people have isotonic drinks (such as Lucozade) to replace any lost salts.”

Dates will provide a burst of energy. Fruit juices will also have a similar, revitalising effect. Start by drinking plenty of water, which helps rehydration and reduces the chances of overindulgence

OK, to simplify things, Foods to avoid

  • deep-fried foods, for example pakoras, samosas and fried dumplings
  • high-sugar and high-fat foods, including sweets
  • high-fat cooked foods, for example, oily curries and greasy pastries

In other words, avoid fatty and fried foods as they will make you feel sluggish and possibly cause indigestion. You should also avoid foods with too much sugar, which is why fruits are a preferred option.

And hey, before I forget, avoid tea and opt for water instead. Tea passes quickly through the digestive system and takes valuable mineral salts with it that the body needs to function properly during the day.

Healthy alternatives

  • baked samosas and boiled dumplings
  • chapattis made without oil
  • baked or grilled meat and chicken
  • homemade pastry using just a single layer
  • milk-based sweets and puddings

With this, I pray that you all have Ramadan worth remembering.