Tips for a Healthy and Nutritious Ramadan

Tips for a Healthy and Nutritious Ramadan August 2, 2011

Muslims in Dietetics and Nutrition (MIDAN)’s:

Top 10 Tips for Enjoying a Healthy and Nutritious Ramadan

1. Focus on healthy foods that keep you fuller longer during suhoor (pre-fast) and iftar (break-fast) meals:

Fiber:  whole wheat grains, breads, cereals, and pastas; brown rice vegetables and fruits, beans, nuts* and seeds*,

  • Protein: lean animal meat; fish/seafood, low-fat or nonfat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese) beans, nuts*, and seeds*
  • Healthy Fats: olives and olive oil, canola oil, avocadoes, fatty fish

* nuts and seeds, choose unsalted nuts and seeds and limit to a small handful

2. Focus on quality, not quantity. Eat a balanced diet with all food groups. Eating excessively can produce negative health affects in both the short- and long-term and also goes against Islamic teachings.

3. Hydrate frequently during non-fasting hours. Drinking excessive amounts of fluids at suhoor is not an effective way to stay hydrated. Avoid caffeinated and sugary beverages.

4. Consume plenty of fresh fruit and small amounts of dried fruit to prevent the loss of electrolytes.

5. Limit fried and syrupy sweets. Try having fruit for dessert.

6. Avoid skipping suhoor and try to have a snack or small meal before bed if time permits. Skipping meals can be dangerous during the long fasting days of summer.

7. Engage in light exercise while fasting and limit moderate to vigorous activities during non-fasting hours.

8. Use the miswak and practice good oral hygiene to maintain dental health and freshen breath while fasting.

9. Get adequate sleep (take naps if possible) and eat a healthy, balanced diet to help prevent weakness and fatigue during your Ramadan schedule.

10. Seek professional help from your physician and Registered Dietitian if you decide to fast with chronic conditions or illnesses. Remember that you are exempt from fasting if it will put your health at risk (or the health of your child in the cases of pregnancy and breastfeeding).

Source: Muslims in Dietetics & Nutrition, a member interest group of the American Dietetic Association

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