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Enjoy Ramadan Blessings with Right Food Choices

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Ramadan Diet

Many of my patients and friends observing Ramadan fast ask me a funny question “why I gain weight during Ramadan” I feel most of them knows the answer. But knowingly or unknowingly they forget the real meaning of fasting and lean towards feasting. Thanks to our home chef’s i.e. our mothers and sisters who like to display and share the cooking varieties  especially during Ramadan, showing an increase in consumption of oil throughout the month and to also the food vendors which come up with variety of delicious food items which ply  us to gorge on it.

Most of the people make a mistake of eating only two heavy meals i.e. suhoor and iftar. This slows down the basal metabolic rate of body, but the human body work very smartly. The body figures out that it is only getting two meals a day and decides that it needs to store everything. So everything you eat gets stored as fat.

Therefore three meal patterns during ramdan followed by good proteins in diet will help the body to burn fat. And also increase in body’s metabolic rate. Similarly if body doesn’t get sugar from the diet, it burns fat to make fuel. Thus excess sugar needs to be restricted.

After an hour of iftar meal blood glucose begins to rise and liver and muscle take up circulating glucose. The taraweeh prayers metabolises the circulating glucose into carbon dioxide and water Hence the Taraweeh prayers help in expending the extra calories and improve flexibility, coordination in healthy person.

This is a sample menu plan for Ramadan fasting with options of food items giving approximate 1400-1500 calories and 50 grams of proteins

SUHOOR: 1 cup of milk with bowl full of oats/muesli.

                Or 1-2 chapatti/whole wheat bread with a cup of milk.

                 4-5 almond and walnuts

IFTAR:  1-2 dates

             1 bowl of fruits

DRINK--150-200 ml of milk shakes and juices like apple falooda/ guava gingerelle / date and Apple milk shake/Tangy watermelon juice/melon shake/mint and saunf drink/ lemon juice.

SNACK:

Options of low fat non fried snacks with shallow frying cooking method are listed below:

  • Mix sprout chat/hare chane ki chat/sprout sandwich /hara bhara kabab/soya vegetable cutlet
  • Corn potato tikki / dhokla /veg stuff dosa /ragi masala dosa/oats mix flour pancakes/chana dal
  • Pan cakes/wheat flour vegetable Frankie/wheat flour chicken Frankie /grilled chicken sandwich.

DINNER:

  • Small portion of Vegetable dal khichdi /Vegetable puloa /chapatti 1-2 with vegetable / grilled or baked fish / chicken along with small portion of rice or whole wheat bread or small portion Harira or hummus.
  • Fruit salad/fruit yoghurt/vegetable raita.

Some of regional dishes or food items from kokan can also be incorporated such as use of ragi i.e. nachni to make nachni porridge or bhakri instead of bread or use of ragi in making sandhan improving its fibre and nutritional value, a good dish for suhoor. Broken wheat Dalia lapsi instead of rice kheer/phirni. Use of ragi and sprouts in making ghawane again a regional dish can be improved nutrition wise.

Below are some recommendations for ramdan.

·         Suhoor should be consisting of complex carbohydrate.

·         Iftar must be a balanced meal consisting of all food groups

·         Dinner should be light and in moderate amount.

·         Avoid excess tea and coffee

·         Opt for shallow frying rather than deep frying.

·         Avoid excess sugar in drinks make use of fruits to sweetened drinks.

·         Avoid fried foods

·         Consume low fat and fibre rich foods.

·         Good amount of dietary fibre supplied from salad, sprouts and fruits help prevent constipation and other health problems.

·         Don’t over eat

·         Drink adequate amount of water intake it is important to get body properly hydrated.

Ramadan is the holy month in which god also bless us with variety of heavy delicious traditional cuisine’s to eat, but one should be moderate in consumption to promote health benefits with spiritual benefits therefore “take charge, don’t be large”.

Ms Ruhi Peje
Clinical Dietician  
Guru Nanak Hospital,
Mumbai

Ms. Ruhi Peje is a Clinical Dietician at Guru Nanak Hospital, Mumbai. For clarifying any doubts or for any health related assistance, Ms. Ruhi can be reached on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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