We need to pay more attention than usual to our diet with the month of Ramadan. The heavy iftar meal eaten in the late hours after long-term fasting, the inadequate fluid intake, the increase in daily dessert consumption with the effect of low blood sugar and the decrease in physical activity together with the restrictions bring the risk of health problems. Dyt. Psk. M. Berrin Ak Atiş points out that for a healthy Ramadan and a strong immunity, foods from iftar to sahur should be consumed in a varied, balanced and correct manner.
Dyt said that because the number of meals decreased during Ramadan, food quality is more important. Psk. M. Berrin Ak Atiş said that fasting with a single meal without getting up for sahur may cause headaches, weakness and slowing of metabolism by lowering blood sugar and made suggestions for a healthy Ramadan.
Water and fiber are essential for a healthy Ramadan
Drinking plenty of water between iftar and sahur and preferring fiber foods is a must for a healthy Ramadan. Raw vegetables and fruits, whole grain products and dried nuts should be consumed during suhoor and iftar. Legumes and vegetable dishes with olive oil should be consumed at iftar 2 to 3 days a week. Salads enriched with boiled legumes, buckwheat or quinoa can also be preferred.
Suhoor should be done close to imsak time
Suhoor should be made close to imsak time and easily digestible, filling foods with high protein and fiber content and complex carbohydrates that do not increase blood sugar quickly should be consumed. Milk, boiled eggs, low-salt or unsalted cheese, seasonal fruits and vegetables, nuts such as walnuts-hazelnuts-almonds and 1-2 slices of whole wheat bread can be preferred for a light breakfast or soup, ayran, sugar-free compotes.
Start iftar with soup
Iftar should be started with light meals such as soup, yoghurt and salad, and the meals should be chewed thoroughly. Soup meets the body’s need for fluid and increases stomach satiety. In order to eliminate the satiety signal to the brain and to prevent overeating, the main meal should be started after waiting 10 to 15 minutes.
All food groups should be consumed in a balanced and regular manner.
Care should be taken to consume from all food groups during iftar, meat meal, vegetables and legumes should be consumed regularly and in a balanced way. Instead of foods that increase blood sugar quickly, such as rice pilaf and white bread, foods with low glycemic index, high fiber content such as whole wheat bread, dried legumes, and whole wheat pasta should be preferred. Fibrous foods both prolong satiety and help relieve constipation due to low eating.
It is necessary not to stay still during the day in order not to weaken the immune system.
Snacks 1.5 to 2 hours after iftar is important for the regulation of blood sugar and metabolism. Traditional milky desserts can be enjoyed with snacks two days a week. On other days, it is very important to make healthy choices such as 1 to 2 balls of ice cream, fruit, yogurt, and kefir. In addition, it is necessary not to stay still during the day in order not to weaken the immune system. Those who do sports regularly can also do sports while fasting. However, the dose of the sport should be reduced a little. Sports should be done close to iftar or 1.5 to 2 hours after iftar.
Drink plenty of fluids between iftar and sahur
During Ramadan, there may be headache, irritability, fatigue and lack of concentration due to fluid loss. To prevent this, you should drink plenty of fluids between iftar and sahur. Fluid intake should be provided with plenty of water, kefir, ayran, compote and plain mineral water, not beverages that have a diuretic (water-throwing) effect on the body such as tea, coffee and cola.
Patients should fast in consultation with their physicians
Diabetes, heart and kidney patients, pregnant and lactating women, children in the development age, very old patients, those with ulcers, colitis, chronic intestinal disease who need to follow a special diet should not fast without consulting the relevant physician. Patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension, whose condition is controlled through diet or medication, can fast. Hypertensive patients should avoid foods that contain high amounts of salt, such as sausages, processed and salted meat and fish products, olives and pickles, snack foods, savory cheeses, various instant crackers, salads, spreads and sauces (mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup).