Tuesday, 25 September 2007
By Adel Al-Malki
STUDIES show that many people gain weight in Ramadan from bad eating habits including overindulgence in food high in oil and sugar.
Most who gain weight during the season eat breakfast for just under ten minutes followed by dessert. The fast and over consumption of food results to energy not being used up, thus, stored in the body as fats. Some Muslims have made fasting in Ramadan an excuse to overindulge in food between sunset and sunrise.
Muneera Al-Harbi , a nutritionist in the International Medical Center in Jeddah, said there is this wrong notion that if one eats large amount of food, it will serve as a reserve for them not to feel hungry the next day. Doing so only disrupts the metabolism, she said.
Housewives are advised to cook healthy food . "Go for more poached and barbecued food, while minimizing the use of margarine, butter, and corn oil," said Muneera.
Variety in food is key to healthy eating. Eating vegetables and fruits everyday is ideal. Do not skip the sahour meal but do not overeat by then, either.
Al-Harbi said a change in the preparation of sahour and iftar might help to make these healthier.
"And do not count the number of hours you spend on fasting. Doing so will only drive you to eat more before and after to ‘compensate.' Remember that after sahour, you will be inactive for several hours, thus, slowing down your metabolism," said Muneera.
Chew food slowly especially in breaking the fast to help the digestive system readapt to eating. Drink eight glasses of water and drink juice that have not been artificially sweetened. Exercise for 30 min. at least four times a week. Lessen intake of milk high on butterfat, meat, cream and fried food.