Eating healthy during Ramadan is possible! We share five healthy diet secrets so you go through fasting month while staying healthy and fit.
Fasting month is upon us, and keeping a healthy diet during Ramadan can be tricky, especially when it is tempting to break your fast with high sugar or deep fried foods. The good news is that it is still possible to keep your healthy habits. Here are some handy tips for healthier eating during this period.
1. Suhur with Oats
When you fast, you are not eat anything for more than 12 hours. Thus, your body will need food that can keep your stomach feeling full for longer. A controlled research states that people who eat wheat and oats have higher levels of Peptide Y-Y, a hormone associated with appetite control. Besides providing a feeling of fullness that lasts longer than other foods, oats also helps with controlling blood pressure levels, assists in boosting your immune system, and contains antioxidants that assist with anti-ageing goals.
2. Healthier Sugar
Although it is tempting to indulge in sugary food when you are feeling hungry at the end of the fast, the fact is that eating too much sugar may cause a sharp spike in insulin levels. This can create issues, especially after the spike is over—you may feel sleepy and less have less energy throughout the day. Replace white sugar with healthier sugar such as coconut palm sugar. Better yet, blend dates as they are sweet and pack other nutrients.
3. Digestion Friendly
Since we change our eating schedule during the fasting month, it can make a huge difference on our metabolism and cause our digestive system to become sensitive. If we eat food that is deep fried, the oil from these foods may result in an unfriendly environment for the stomach, and lead to digestive issues. Instead, opt for stomach-friendly steamed food such as steamed vegetables, fish or chicken. They are easier for your stomach to digest without causing any stress to the digestive system.
4. Go Easy for Breakfast
The fear of hunger can drive us to overeat, especially for breakfast before starting the fast. However, by overeating on breakfast we are actually sending mixed signals to our body even when it is already full. This can lead to more food cravings. More food does not mean more energy so control your emotions whenever you feel like eating more of everything. Eat calmly, and stop eating before you feel full.
5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
This is one of the most important things to do when fasting, since our body consists of at least 60 per cent water. We need to keep ourselves hydrated, even if we do not drink for more than 12 hours. Try to drink 1000ml of water for suhur, 500ml when breaking your fast, and another 500ml before going to bed. Drinking more water helps keep your metabolism rate up, assists with control calories, and helps our skin look good.
Besides taking on a healthier diet during Ramadan, it is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle during this time. Light exercises such as stretching will help in maintaining your body’s fitness and metabolism. Happy and healthy fasting.