ABU DHABI: Doctors have cautioned residents of the harmful effects of overeating during Iftar and advised them to follow proper eating habits, including breaking the fast with a sweet to get instant energy.
Dr Anita Gupta, clinical dietician at Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi, has put together a set of insightful health tips that provide one with an overview of what should be done and what should be avoided during this Holy Month.
She said that after Iftar the body gets very tired specially the brain and the nerve cells.
“It requires something sweet to get instant energy. Three dates with a glass of cold water or a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice is a good source of glucose for the body and is refreshing,” she said.
The long period of fasting during this month can have a direct impact on one’s health, either positively or negatively depending on the lifestyle that one chooses to adopt.
She advises that overeating and eating too much of fried and sugary food can lead to unnecessary weight gain.
“Moreover fried foods have a chance of causing indigestion and heart burn. Taking heavy meals before sleeping puts the body under stress and does not give it sufficient rest as it is busy processing and digesting the food you have just eaten.”
However in Ramadan, the diet is radically altered to satisfy every one’s needs and desires, whether it’s for the older people, the young or the sick.
The Gulf Today has learnt that most families do not follow healthy diet plans and many people opt for oily foods for taste.
Nutritious meals are forgotten. Many prefer fries, pakoras, cutlets, samosas, spring rolls and other fried items.
Mothers find it difficult to insist on a healthy diet that includes vegetables. They prepare what their children want to eat.
“It is not a time to worry what to eat or not eat. We are dieting the whole day so we need something delicious to break the fast. Of course, the meal includes fruit juices, soups and two to three varieties of fries,” said a mother.
“My children prefer meat to fish items and I prefer this too as meat digests slow and keeps them less hungry throughout the fasting day,” she added.
The Iftar items in her household include chicken or onion pakoras, burgers, pizzas and fried chicken combos.
Meanwhile, Dr Gupta said that changes in one’s eating and sleeping habits put the body under stress.
To avoid this problem, the day should be planned carefully giving importance to healthy eating.
She advises that a fasting person can take a simple vegetable or chicken soup cooked with a handful of oats so that the body gets some fluid, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates.
Fasting increases gastric acidity levels, leading to heaviness in the stomach, burning sensation or sour mouth. So to avoid this complication, it is better to eat foods rich in fibres such as whole wheat bread or cereals with milk, beans, hommus, vegetables and fruit for Sohour.
“Avoid intake of high sugar foods through sweets, chocolates, tea and coffee. Take less tea, coffee and colas as they can interrupt your sleep by waking you up,” she warns.
Source : http://www.satyamargam.com/