Overeating, smoking and avoiding fiber-rich fruits and vegetables are among some of the mistakes people make while breaking their fast during Ramadan.
According to nutrition consultant and vice president of the Saudi Association for Nutritional Sciences, Dr. Khaled Al-Madani, these mistakes could cause additional burdens and health complications during the month, while fasting is a good opportunity to detoxify and rest the digestive tract.
He said common mistakes include consuming too many liquids before eating, and proceeding to consume extensive amounts of food, including oily and fried foods, in turn overburdening the stomach with a large volume of food at once.
Other mistakes include breaking fast with cigarettes and tobacco, sleeping after eating the iftar meal, rather than allowing the body ample time to digest foods, and often avoiding fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, which help eliminate the chance of constipation.
Drinking soda at iftar time can also cause indigestion, he said, and recommended that such drinks be replaced with water or fresh juice. Likewise, eating too much dessert as one of the main meals in Ramadan is problematic, especially for diabetics, noting that such sugar-reach treats should be replaced with fruit salads.
Al-Madani advised that iftar should begin with two dates and cup of water or low-fat laban, followed by soup that contains vegetables, and two pieces of samosas or fatayer. The main meal should come after Taraweeh prayer, and should be a healthy, low-fat meal that is light on the stomach. Suhour should also be light and follow the basic nutritional guidelines.