Six foods to avoid during Ramadan

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The holy month of Ramadan is here. Following the sighting of the moon, Muslims across the globe commenced fasting from dawn to dusk on Saturday.

During this month, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and sexual relations from dawn to sunset, with the hope that it will lead to greater consciousness of God.

Fasting during Ramadan is known to have positive health benefits as it helps cleanses the body of harmful toxins.

However, taking unhealthy and unbalanced meals during Ramadan can lead to some health-related issues like excessive weight loss or gain, and heartburn, among others.

Without further ado, here are some of the foods Muslims should avoid during Ramadan (Sahoor and Iftar).

For Sahoor (food eaten at pre-dawn) you should avoid;

  • Simple or refined Carbohydrates

White bread, white rice, and pastries, among others, should be avoided. These are foods that last only three to four hours in your body. The foods are also low in essential nutrients as they have been stripped off all fiber and nutrients your body will need for the day.

  • Salty foods

Avoid foods that are salty during Sahoor. The human body regulates how much sodium it contains. If levels are too high, this makes you really thirsty while fasting.

Also, too much sodium in the body has been proven to be linked to kidney stones, cardiovascular diseases, and high blood pressure.

  • Caffeinated drinks

Caffeinated drinks like coffee and espresso aren’t good to start your fast with. Excessive caffeine consumption has been shown to cause insomnia and restlessness so this isn’t a nice choice of drink during Sahoor.

Due to the long hours of staying hungry, some people tend to lose control of themselves while taking iftar — the evening meal after sunset– which might further affect their health.

Below are some foods you should avoid taking during Iftar if you really want to recharge and rebalance your body and energy.

  • Carbonated drinks

During iftar, you should avoid processed beverages and drinks. Soft drinks as they are popularly called can cause digestion problems, dehydration, and diarrhea if taken during Iftar. So you should rather take enough water or fresh juices to soothe your thirst.

  • High sugar foods

During this period, people just want to eat everything and anything they lay their hands on. Meanwhile, taking cookies, pastries, chocolates, or sweets during iftar can cause instant weight gain because they have high calories than nutrients.

  • Fried foods

Greasy and fried foods should be totally avoided. Cut down on deep-fried foods as they cause indigestion, heartburn, and weight gain, and make you feel bloated.

Rather take grilled, baked, steamed, or shallow fried foods.

Fasting during Ramadan can improve one’s health — that is if done properly. So it’s advisable to have self-control during Ramadan in order to be able to choose only the healthy diet for both iftar and sahoor.