Ramadan food sheets are incomplete without the deep fried “Samosas” and “Pakoras”. We interviewed a few people and got the same response stated above that they cannot imagine Iftar without the fried items in the menu. We all know that the diet routine along with the menu, changes drastically in Ramadan. On the other hand in the holy month the dieticians suggest a balanced and normal diet which is not so different from what you eat all the year round. This discrepancy and difference in opinions create health problems in Ramadan. It is very important to spread awareness amongst our readers about the importance of balanced diet in Ramadan.
Importance of balanced diet in Ramadan
On realizing the importance of balanced diet, in this article we have discussed how and why we should balance the spicy, oily and fried food items in Ramadan. After a discussion with a health specialist we were updated that if we maintain a balance in our diets we can improve our blood cholesterol profile and get rid of acidity and digestive issues. This means a healthy and energetic Ramadan. But how can we decide on what to eat and what to avoid?
Most of the people complaint about acidity issues in Ramadan. This is sometimes because of the long pause of food intake and empty stomach. The situation gets worsen when people get access to the unlimited spicy and fried food on the iftar table. Consumption of excess food with the thought that it will provide you with more energy to survive the all day fast is not going to help. Your normal day to day food consumption is sufficient for a day long fast but try and add more of water and fibre rich foods in your diet to avoid cramping, dehydration, gastric problems etc. Try not to take too much tea at Sehri time as this may result in more of Urine output and may result in the loss of mineral salts in the body.
Dates are a source of immense energy and are best to be served for breaking the fast. Besides this it has been observed that people who take light food like soup, fruits, cereals, vegetables etc to begin the fast can easily keep a balance in their diet.
Try boiled and baked potatoes with skin which are healthier when compared to fried potatoes in any form. They will also help in cholesterol reduction and if you include them in your Sehri menu, the skinned baked potatoes can help you in avoiding the feeling of hunger during the fast. This is one way to balance the oily fried food in Ramadan with something healthier and better.
Include meal from all food groups
It has been proved several times that fatty and fried food results in heaviness and this becomes a hindrance in being active during the holy month. So try to include in your diet meal from all food groups. When we talk about food groups, it is important for us to know that there are 5 major food groups including Protein, fruits and vegetables, sugary foods, carbohydrates and dairy. You can make a choice from rice, potato, bread or pasta when to decide on carbohydrates so your body can get enough energy without gaining the extra fats. In the same way, protein supply can be chosen in the form of lentils, red meat or white meat including fish and poultry. Calcium can be gained from milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products.
Treat your cravings in moderation
Keeping a balance in diet does not mean you cannot enjoy the Ramadan treats. It is all about the quantity you intake. When we are fasting the craving level is intense and this means an uncontrolled attack on food at Iftar time. If you choose to fill your plate with the fried, oily and fatty foods than that is what will go first in your stomach to cause the damage. Instead if you take a few dates with a glass of healthy energizing drink and then make you platter sensibly by adding portions of fruits, vegetables and small amount of fried food it will help you stay healthy. Moderation and balance has also been a practice of our Holy Prophet (PBUH). A little self control is required and that’s exactly what fasting is teaching us.
Other ways to balance oily foods in Ramadan
Just controlling on your diet is not the only way to create balance. One other simple means to create the balance is to workout or exercise. Chose simple exercises for Ramadan and burn the extra calories you intake.
Some people think that a good way to balance the fried food they eat in Ramadan is to skip Suhoor or Sehri and eat all they wish in Iftar. What a thought I must say! But what about the dizziness all day along with the lack of energy and aren’t you going to crave for extra after staying hungry for so long? I advice you to take a balanced Suhoor with slow burning food to give you energy all day.
Balanced diet ideas for Ramadan
We have already suggested a few food items above in the article to assist you in creating a balance in your diet in Ramadan. Some other useful healthy Sehri ideas include porridge with nuts, mixed fruits, yogurt, slice of bran bread, milk, cereal, jam toast, cheese, boiled egg etc.
Iftar ideas include boiled rice with chicken curry, brown rice with mixed vegetables, fruit and vegetable salad, baked fish, roasted chicken, tikka sandwiches, grilled vegetables, baked potato, fish curry with pita bread, pasta with chicken or vegetables, dates and healthy drinks with no artificial sweeteners.
Quick tips on balancing fried food in Ramadan
- Decide smartly on what you eat
- Be aware of the calorie content in the basic food items in your menu
- Burn extra calories through exercise
- Munch sensibly in the time between iftar and sehri
- Do small calculations in your mind about your daily intake so you can mark easily if you are under or over eating in any case.
- Learn about good and bad Carbs.
- Try to find healthy alternatives of fatty foods.