Ramadan is near and so is the anticipation of benefits that come along with the challenges of this blessed month.
Choosing what to eat after and before a fast during Ramadan makes a big difference to your routine and body. There is often a tendency to overeat after fasting for the whole day. This overeating causes harm to your digestive system and body.
During Ramadan, one’s diet is radically altered as the food is consumed only twice and that too within a limited amount of time. The morning meal (Suhoor) and the evening meal (Iftar), both should be balanced. It is important that the meals contain food items from the range of food groups such as vegetables, meat, dairy, cereals and fruits.
A special care should be taken while consuming food. One should increase the intake of fluids after breaking the fast. Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, constipation, and other digestive issues.
Make sure that your Suhoor meal is wholesome so that you can last the long fasting hours without much difficulty. The selection of food is important and so is the proportion of food that is to be consumed. Eat food that is full of nutrients and that might help to replenish the body energy.
To maintain body balance during this fasting time, it is advisable to eat carefully and keep in mind the nutrition level that is needed. There are some types of foods which may be harmful for the body when consumed on an empty stomach. Some foods may also lead to weight gain or bloating.
Keep in mind the kind of foods that should be avoided.
Sugar, white flour, pastries, white bread, donuts, croissants, added sugars and so forth, all are categorized as refined carbohydrates.
Do you know that absorption of refined carbohydrates into the blood stream can lead to an increased blood sugar and insulin level.
That is why you should avoid these carbohydrates not only during Ramadan but also from a daily meal.
Food that comes under refined carbohydrates lasts only 3 to 4 hours and they are low in essential nutrients.
Salted nuts, pickles, canned foods, readymade sauces, chips and food that contains soya sauce should be avoided.
Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride and sodium can dehydrate the body.
Salty foods creates an imbalance of sodium levels in your body. This makes one very thirsty while fasting.
It is advisable to avoid high salted food.
Opting for plant-based proteins like legumes, helps to keep one full for a longer period of time.
Fried potato, Sambusa, fried dumplings, oily curries, etc. are all deep fried.
Whether you are a foodie or not, fried food tastes better at all times and especially during Ramadan.
Consumption of fried food is not at all good for the body. Infact, it is the main culprit that harms your digestive system.
These type of food contains a high percentage of fats and sodium. Consuming them increases fatigue, weight and exhaustion during fasting.
Fasting leads to craving for sugary foods as they are high in calories.
You might not know but these sugar quantity in food are poor in nutritional value.
Also high sugar food provides instant energy which is just for a short span of time.
Sweets, chocolates, excess amount of dates, etc, should be avoided as they also increases weight.
The reason why carbonated drinks should be avoided is due to high sugar concentration.
Fizzy drinks and processed beverages also come under carbonated drinks.
Drinking them leads to overweight, risk of obesity, causes gas and leads to indigestion.
Caffeine is relatable to coffee. Caffeine leads to fatigue, insomnia and restlessness.
Do you know why caffeine should be avoided? It is because it leads to dehydration and makes a person thirsty.
Caffeine is a diuretic and causes the body to lose fluids, salts and other important minerals needed during the day.
The above mentioned food categories should be avoided at all costs. They are not only harmful during Ramadan but they are also not good for health on a daily basis.
What should be an alternative then?
We have briefly discussed above that what all food items should be avoided during Ramadan, but the question now is what to eat as an alternative?
For the complete list of healthy food items to curb your cravings during Ramadan read our article : Stay Healthy & Fit during Ramadan.
In a nutshell, there are many healthy alternatives to please your cravings like:
In place of fried food items, you can opt for:
- Baked foods
- Dried fruits and nuts
- Fruits and vegetables
For e.g. you want to eat pizza so a wholegrain or wheat pizza can be opted in place of white flour.