Plan ahead for Healthier Ramadan Meals
By Indra Balaratnam
The holy month of Ramadan has once again graced its steps upon us, for it’s a spiritual occasion for us Muslims. It is the time where we abstain from eating and drinking from Fajr Prayer till Maghrib Prayer.
Fasting for a whole month can be challenging, and those that are fasting may experience indigestion and acidity due to the changes in their eating schedule. However, discomforts can be minimized with some preplanning and forethought. So this Ramadan, make the right food choices and eat sensibly, not only to stay energized and on the go, but also to minimize discomfort.
The Healthy Food Palm, in the Saudi Dietary Guidelines, recommends that all adults should consume a variety of foods from the five branches — such as grains, meats and legumes, vegetables, fruit and dairy daily — to ensure they get all the important nutrients for good health (1). This dietary guidance should be used for planning balanced meals during Ramadan too.
As you plan your Ramadan menu:
- Select lighter dishes cooked with less oil, such as grilled meats or fish, steamed dishes, soups, salads and vegetables
- Limit deep- fried foods and oily dishes, as they can aggravate gastrointestinal discomfort, heartburn and indigestion
- It is best to include more home cooked meals, as you can control the amount of fat, salt and sugar
- Dietary guidelines for Saudis: the healthy food palm. General Directorate of Nutrition, 2012 M-1433 H. Retrieved from https://www.moh.gov.sa/en/Ministry/MediaCenter/Publications/Documents/final%20english%20%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%83%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%A8%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8A%20%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%AC%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%B2%D9%8A.pdf