Fasting during Ramadan is an ideal way to bring you back on balanced and healthy lifestyle. You need to be very careful while having foods during this period because a small mistake can break your fast and lets you to put on weight instead of losing.
Fasting lets you to manage your eating habits and improve self-discipline. If you want to know what foods to be taken during the pre-dawn and dusk meals, the following information helps you to understand what to take and what not, so that you can make informed choices.
A Complete Balanced Diet
Generally, people who fast will have at least two meals a day- the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor) and a meal at dusk (Iftar). Recommended diet consists of foods from all the major food groups:
- Fruit & vegetables
- Bread, cereals and potatoes
- Meat, fish or alternatives
- Milk and dairy foods
- Fat and sugar (intake of these foods should be limited because these are low in nutrition level and are high in calories)
Healthy foods that are listed in the Holy Qur’an are vegetables and fruits such as olives, onions, figs, dates, cucumber, grapes as well as pulses such as lentils. You need to avoid foods that contain refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar and fatty foods such as chocolates, cakes, biscuits, sweets, etc. It is better to avoid drinks that consist of caffeine such as tea, cola, and coffee.
You can also consume fibre-rich foods such as whole wheat, bran, grains and seeds, cereals, potatoes in skin, vegetables such as green beans and fruits such as prunes, figs and apricots.
What to Eat at Suhoor?
The pre-dawn meal should be a wholesome, moderate meal that is filling and gives adequate energy for long hours. Therefore, it is important to have slowly-digesting foods like complex carbohydrates such as pitta bread, salad, cereal (especially oats) or toast. It is better to drink fluids to keep you hydrated throughout the day and helps in digestion process.
What to Eat at Iftar?
It is the meal that breaks the day’s fast. So, it should include dates since these provide a refreshing burst and fruit juices that gives a revitalizing effect. Start by drinking plenty of water. It helps rehydration and reduces the risk of overindulgence.
What Foods to Avoid?
- Deep-fried foods-Pakoras, samosas, fried dumplings
- High-sugar/high-fat foods– Ghulab Jamun, Rasgulla, Balushahi, Baklawa
- High-fat cooked foods-Parathas, oily curries, greasy pastries
What Foods to take?
- Whole grains like chickpeas, samosas baked instead of fried & boiled dumplings
- Milk-based sweets and puddings-Rasmalai, & Barfee
- Chapattis made without oil, and baked or grilled meat and chicken
Cooking Methods to be Avoided
- Deep frying
- Curries with excessive oil
How to Cook?
- Shallow frying is preferable
- Grilling or baking is preferable. It helps to retain the taste and original flavor of the food
- Try to reduce oil while preparing curries. It is better to use more onions and tomatoes in the curry
Cooking in oversized pots on gas stoves can lead to build-up of carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas. So, make sure that you do not cook in oversized pots and don’t place foil around the burners.