Smart and simple fasting tips from ICLDC
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Prepare for fasting
1. Prepare well and talk to your physician. It is possible to manage diabetes and fast, so long as you realise the importance of your medical assessment before you start, especially if you are taking any medication. Your doctor will guide you to create a plan that works for you that complements your fasting hours.
Aim for balanced eating
2. Space out your meals. During Ramadan, try not to be tempted to eat continuously from Iftar to just before Fajr. It is a good idea to pace your meals-just like your normal diet.
3. Equally important is to ensure you don't skip Iftar and Suhoor meals.
4. To avoid hyperglycaemia, break your fast gradually by eating three dates and drinking laban or water, then after prayer enjoy the rest of your meal!
5. Avoid overeating at main meals and instead opt for well balanced nutrient filled Iftar and Suhoor.
6. A balanced Suhoor is key to healthy and safe fasting and to avoid hypoglycaemia. Remember to eat a balanced meal just before Fajr. If you are on medication, this will help to maintain blood glucose levels. Especially for Suhoor, aim for slow-release carbohydrates and limit refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, short-grain rice and some cereals, as this may result in earlier onset of hypoglycaemia during the long hours of fasting.
Get creative with cooking & food choices
7. Choose healthy cooking methods when it comes to pastries. Try baking the samosa, pakora and qatayef instead of deep-frying them.
8. Enjoy Ramadan juices in moderation and aim for more servings of laban with mint, home-made iced green tea, or plain water.
9. Use colours and healthier options for desserts; bring colour to the table with fruit kebabs or fruit salad (with no added syrup). Opt for healthier fruits with low-glycemic index such as apples, oranges, plums, strawberries, grapefruit could be sensible choices.
10. Drink plenty of water in the non-fasting hours to avoid dehydration. Also avoid drinks with high sugar content as a sudden surge of sugar into your system will result in a state of high blood glucose levels that may require hospital treatment. Also avoid excess consumption of caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and sodas as these could dehydrate the body, resulting in water loss!
11. Sensible option for meals is to look for good carbohydrates i.e. slow release carbohydrates -also known as low glycaemic index. This includes wholegrain bread and basmati rice, pasta cooked al dente (moderately cooked). Fast release carbohydrates, otherwise known as high-glycaemic index and high sugar food are best avoided. Foods with a high glycaemic index include potatoes and white bread.
12. Moderate activity is good during fasting. A typical great example of moderate physical activity is 30-minute walk after sunset. However, excessive exercise is best avoided.