Healthy Ramadan fasting tips for people with diabetes

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Ramadan is the holy month spreading the emotions of togetherness, charity and peace all over the world. Fasting in this season as instructed by the religious rituals will keep the mind pure and remove the toxic wastes from the body. Muslims all over the world fast between dawn and sunset & if the fasting affects the health of the observer he is excused from doing so.

Precaution should be taken when patients fast during Ramadan especially if they are diabetic. Even though it is a personal choice for diabetics to observe fasting, experts believe that they can also fast if they take caution and follow certain health tips.

Diabetics are instructed to take regular meals on time and Ramadan fasting requires a 12 to 15 hours gap between meals. Although the above is a contradiction, diabetics can follow their ritual by consulting their doctor and seeking his advice regarding the health condition. The first step in your diabetic plan to fast is to monitor your blood sugar levels multiple times a day using a blood sugar meter. If any slight fluctuation arises, you should consult your doctor immediately.

Patients having Type 1 diabetes, affected with a history of hypoglycaemia are at a higher risk during fasting. People with Type 2 Diabetes will have less consequences and are at a lower risk when compared to the latter.

Hence the safest and the most frequently advice for diabetics who observe fast is frequent blood sugar monitoring. Experts also are of the opinion that if the blood sugar level goes below 70mg/dL, then it is a sign for you to break the fast. Also if the blood sugar levels are above 300mg/dL, then you should be feel alerted to consult a doctor immediately.

  • You should not overeat as the main reason behind fasting is to cut down your desires, be one with God and experience hunger.
  • During Iftar, break your fast by the intake of sugar free and decaffeinated drinks to prevent dehydration. Drink plenty of water as well as lemon water, butter milk, plain milk, unsweetened lassi etc.
  • More fruits, vegetables and curd should be included in your diet.
  • Do not over indulge in sweets during Ramadan.
  • Right nutrients should be consumed during the pre-dawn (sehri) meal. Always include whole grain bread, whole grain low sugar cereals, beans and lentils in your Ramadan meal.
  • Deep fried foods including parathas, puri, samosa and pakoras should be avoided when you break the fast. Rice and wheat chapathi can be consumed according to the instruction of your doctor.
  • Eat small, healthy and nutritious meals in the evening when you break the fast.
  • Never eat heavy meals at once as it will lead to acidity and other related problems.
  • During Sehri, eat food that contains more fibre content and with low glycaemic index. These type of food will remain in the stomach for a long time making you feel fuller. Whole wheat, legumes, low fat dairy products and whole fruits are the types of food with low glycaemic index.

It is to be emphasized that fasting in Ramadan for diabetics is a personal choice. Patients are exempted from fasting as instructed by the religion. Even then, if you wish to fast, do it only after a thorough medical consultation and try to ensure a happy as well as healthy Ramadan.

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