Guardian Ramadan Health & Fasting Tips 29 Jun 2014

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As you fast during Ramadan, your digestive system, especially the stomach, will be resting as your metabolism rate slows down.

The energy reserves (sugar and fat) will be broken down slowly to keep your body functioning for the rest of the day.

As a result, you may experience weight loss which in return will give you a better control of diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure.

You can stay healthy as you fast if you prepare well and know what to eat with these five simple tips.

This article is for Information purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment.

Always seek the advice from your doctor or other qualified health professionals before starting any new treatment or making any changes to existing treatment.

Consume Energy Food

Balanced food and fluid intake is the key to staying healthy throughout Ramadan.

The important meals -during sahor and buka puasa – must be nutritionally-balanced and contain ‘energy food’ such as carbohydrates and fat to prevent muscle breakdown.

Break the fast with dates or fruit juices, followed by your normal meals – and make sure that they are not feasts.

Complex carbs and fibre-rich foods

Pack up on foods high in complex carbohydrates and fibres. Complex carbohydrates give you a constant and gradual release of energy throughout your day.

As the fibre-rich foods are being digested much slower, they will help release energy in the later part of the day. Choose multi-grain or whole wheat bread over white bread, brown or basmati rice over white rice, oat meals over corn flakes.

Food prep matters!

Foods that are heavily-processed contain a lot of highly refined carbs that are easily digested and burned too quickly for energy.

Therefore, these should be avoided. Steer clear from cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets. Also, avoid deep-fried foods, high-fat cooked foods and high-sugar foods.

Managing dehydration

Dehydration is inevitable during fasting as your body loses water and salts through breathing, perspiration and urination. Therefore it is important for you to make sure you hydrate your body well before beginning a fast.

Abstain from carbonated drinks and coffee. Instead, drink alkaline water that has smaller water molecule clusters so that your cells will be well-hydrated.

Have pre-existing medical conditions?

If you are taking medication for diabetes, high blood pressure or any other medical conditions, take time to consult your doctor before Ramadan begins.

Most people can fast if their medical conditions are under control.Your doctor may want you to closely monitor your blood glucose level while you are fasting.

Other terms and conditions apply.

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