A well-balanced diet equates to a healthy mind. It is extremely important to maintain a healthy diet in Ramadan diet in order to stay active and avoid diseases. In the current day and age, eating healthy food can be difficult due to other options such as processed foods being readily available.
Ms. Qurat ul Ain Aleem is a diet specialist and nutritionist in Lahore. In her session with oladoc, she advises the viewers about the balanced diet in the holy month of Ramadan.
Q.1: What are some tips for Ramadan?
My most important recommendation is to drink at least eight glasses of water daily to avoid dehydration and weakness. I do not advise drinking excess water in Sehri but to divide water intake from Iftar to sehri equally, for example drinking one glass per hour. This reduces excess pressure on the stomach.
Q.2: What do avoid during Ramadan?
Caffeine in all forms should be avoided; this includes black tea and coffee. Caffeine reduces the amount of water in the body; if you still need to drink coffee or tea then it is advised to consume twice the amount of water with it. Herbal teas can be consumed but in moderate amounts, excess of any substance is unhealthy for the body in the long run.
Q.3: Why is salt bad for the body?
Salt is present in a lot of staple foods that most people consume during Ramadan, for example oily fried samosas and pakoras in Iftari that are laced with salt. This causes more thirst and increased blood pressure due to the amount of water being retained in your body, extreme dehydration can also occur in some cases. Therefore, I strongly advise against salty foods.
Q.4: How to maintain a balanced diet in Ramadan?
Firstly, oily foods should be avoided as much as possible. More fresh fruits should be incorporated in the diet in form of chaat and juices, processed juices and fizzy drinks should be avoided due to the chemicals and sugar they contain. I recommend breaking the fast with dates and then eating normal dinner with a portion of salad and protein. Due to restricted eating hours, it is important to fulfill the body’s protein requirement through chicken, eggs, fish etcetera.
Q.5: How to watch weight in Ramadan?
Most people gain excess kilos in Ramadan due to poor dietary habits and frequent dining out. I suggest incorporating more fresh fruits and juices in your diet, these are fulfilling as well as refreshing. Sugar in fruit chaat and juices should be avoided because sugar leads to rapid weight gain.
I recommend my clients to eat meals in portions; your meal plate should ideally be divided into four portions: two portions of salad or any greens, one portion of carbs (roti/naan/bread) and one portion of protein (chicken/pulses/fish). As I mentioned before, proper water intake is also very important to stay healthy and fit.
To learn more about healthy diet in Ramadan, watch the full interview. Consult a nutritionist if you want to learn more about how to customise a personal diet plan.