The Holy month of Ramadan is seen by many as the perfect time to improve and regulate their diet. If done correctly this can be an opportunity to cut out unhealthy foods and start enjoying a more balanced way of life.  If done incorrectly however, it can cause more harm than good. Here, Dr. Mitesh Patel, Medical Director at Aetna International, shares his top tips on how to maintain your health throughout Ramadan.

What to eat

A balanced diet with equal proportions of carbs, fat and protein
Foods high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains
Slow digesting food like bread, salad, cereal or oats, and toast. These foods all provide a constant release of energy
Lots of fluids with vitamins: fruit juice and isotonic drinks, but not energy drinks

When to eat

You should have at least two meals a day (before dawn and after dusk) and it’s important not to skip one of them
Lots of fluids between Iftar and Suhoor is key to maintain adequate hydration
Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, should be a wholesome meal to be filling and provide energy for the day to come
Try to limit the amount of sugary foods you have and instead include other sources of carbohydrate in your diet, such as wholegrains, potatoes, vegetables, fruits and legumes
Avoid fatty foods and salt as much as possible as it stimulates thirst 

Rest & exercise

Sleep daily for at least 6-8 hours to get sufficient mental and physical rest. Less sleep means you’ll feel tired during the day which in turns leads to less productivity and movement
Try to walk or participate in some kind of physical activity
If you are on medication, or on a health management plan of any kind, make sure you consult with your doctor

 

Source: Grayling