Community Outreach

Healthy Eating During Ramadan

Healthy eating during Ramadan

With long hours of fasting and a wide spread to choose from, eating healthy at an elaborate, appetising Iftar can sometimes be a distant dream. But that need not always be the case, because it is quite easy to eat and keep your weighing scale happy during this holy month. All you have to do is prepare and eat food made from fresh ingredients, cooked in a healthy manner for a nutritious Ramadan meal. This will keep you nourished while setting a good example for your family and friends.

Preliminary preparations for healthier foods in Ramadan
Choose fresh vegetables as they contain higher amounts of vitamins and minerals
Use fresh fruits to prepare juices and serve them in moderation without adding sugar
Use low fat milk and other low fat dairy products
Avoid using butter and ghee in cooking and substitute them with vegetable oils in small amounts
Try using lean meat, fish and skinless chicken, and prepare them by grilling, boiling and baking rather than frying

For you to get all the nutrients needed by the body, your meals should contain all the basic food groups (bread and grains, fruits and vegetables, meat and legumes, milk and dairy products).

Here are a few things to choose from and a few to avoid:

To help you choose the right foods during the holy month, we have prepared a simple guide, loaded with many healthy food choices to keep you energetic and nurtured all through Ramadan.

Meat and other protein sources

Choose:

Fish
Grilled or boiled skinless chicken or turkey
Lean veal or lamb
Moderate amounts of prawns
Legumes such as beans, lentils, and peas
Eggs (egg yolk) 3 times per week (including eggs in cooked foods)

Avoid:

Fried chicken and duck
Fatty meats
Liver and organ meats
Hotdog and sausages
Large amounts of prawn, shrimp and shellfish
Milk and dairy products

Choose:

Skimmed or low fat milk
Skimmed or low fat yoghurt and labneh
Low fat cheese

Avoid:

Whole milk
Ice cream and whipped cream
Full cream yoghurt and labneh
Full cream cheeses especially yellow cheeses
Creamy and cheese sauces
Fruits and vegetables

Choose:

All fresh vegetables, boiled, baked, steamed or cooked with a little oil
Seasoned vegetables or vegetables with lemon juice or a little oil
Fresh fruits and natural fruit juice (in moderation)

Avoid:

Coconut (the only fruit rich in saturated fats that are unhealthy for the heart)
Fried vegetables
Boiled vegetables with butter
Juices with added sugar
Bread and grains

Choose:

Arabic or brown bread
Plain spaghetti or rice (without ghee or high fat sauce)
Grains with no added fat
Baked or boiled potatoes

Avoid:

Pastries that contain large amounts of fat (doughnuts, croissants, Danish pastries)
Fried rice
Fried potato chips or French fries
Sweetened Kaak and deserts

With such an assorted list of food available for you to choose from, this religious journey will surely be a pleasantly, healthy trip. And with a better view of your choices this Ramadan, you now hold the key to a nutritious diet.

Just remember, whatever you decide to eat, a balanced food plan containing healthy ingredients, cooked right will help you enjoy Iftar and Suhour while giving you good health and more energy.

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