By Safiya Saifudin, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Kick those bad eating habits with some healthy tips for Ramadan.
Maintaining a healthy diet during this holy month is definitely doable with these tips.
Start your day with a healthy and hearty suhoor
Complex carbs, such as wholegrain bread, brown rice, and beans along with starchy vegetables like potatoes will release energy slowly to help keep you energized and full throughout the day.
To balance things out, be sure to include protein-rich foods such as eggs, chicken, beef, legumes and nuts; as well as healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil and seeds. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to start the day.
Break your fast with a healthy iftar
Breaking your fast with dates is not only a prophetic tradition but also a great way to obtain quick energy after a long day of fasting. They’re nutritious with high amounts of fiber, iron and various vitamins and minerals.
Avoid filling up on high-fat fried foods and finger foods. Like suhoor, make sure to include complex carbs, lean protein and vegetables in your iftar meal.
Limit sugar intake
Try not to overindulge in sweets and desserts every day of the month. The keys here are moderation and finding healthier alternatives (e.g. try banana walnut cake instead of chocolate cake.)
It’s extremely important to drink plenty of water during the non-fasting hours of the day to avoid dehydration. Also, avoid sugary drinks and opt instead for fruit-infused water or homemade fresh juices or smoothies.
Maintain healthy snacking
Snacks provide energy in between meals and prevent you from overeating during suhoor. Choosing high-protein snacks such as Greek yogurt, nuts and hard-boiled eggs will leave you feeling fuller for longer. Combining foods from more than one food group, such as yogurt and fruit, will also help provide a wider variety of nutrients.
Say NO to overeating
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that even a short period of overeating could have long-term health effects of increased body weight and fat mass.