EA Promotes Healthy Cooking During Ramadan

Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:44 pm

EA Promotes Healthy Cooking During Ramadan

Family gathering around meals is one of strong cultural aspects of Ramadan, in which family members enjoy eating traditional dishes. The Saudi Cuisine is rich in many nutrients in which million of diabetic people can enjoy these dishes during Ramadan.
The SDEA has published many guidelines on making cultural and traditional dishes, healthier, safer and well-balanced for diabetic people to consume without impacting their blood sugar on causing them health problems. Dr. Basem Futa, Chairperson of the Diabetes Education Committee of the SDEA has summarized these guidelines as follow: -
• The meals should be well-balanced and nutritious, and include low fat/non fat milk products, lean meat or baked chicken or fish, more salads & vegetables, fresh fruits, and complex carbohydrates. The meals should be varied and not only dates, Sambosa, sweet drinks and fatty rice.
• The meals should help diabetic people to have controlled blood sugar, heart health, not get complications, in addition, should help them to lose excess body weight, if obese.
• The meals should include more fiber, which is found in whole grains, legumes, vegetables, salads, and fruits. Fiber helps to avoid constipation.
• The meals should include less salt and less pickles and salted sauces.
• Sweets should be replaced by fresh fruits. However, sweets can be prepared in a healthy way by using non fat milk in its ingredients, less sugar and include some fruits.
• Sweetened drinks, such as soft drinks, Tamarind or Apricot Nectar (Camardine) are not recommended as they contain a lot of sugar and calories. Sugar free drinks or unsweetened green tea or unsweetened fruit juices (in moderation) are good alternatives.
• Salt should be used in moderation; in addition, salted sauces and pickles should be reduced.
• The meals should be divided into three. Heavy Iftar should be avoided.
• Water and other sugar free drinks should be consumed between Iftar and Sahoor meals.
• The dishes should be either baked or grilled, not fried, to avoid consumption of excessive oil and calories
• Dates are healthy food and nutritious, but each piece provides 20 calories therefore, should be consumed in moderation.
• To lower the consumption of fat, cholesterol and calories; all milk and its products should be non fat or low fat, especially in making desserts such as pudding, in addition, cream soups should be replaced with vegetables or grains soups.
• Butter or ghee should be replaced with healthy oils, such as corn oil or sunflower oil, but to be used in moderation.
• Kabsa should be made with less oil and the meat should be lean. Fish or chicken used for Kabsa or other dishes should be baked or grilled or steamed rather than fried.
• Harees or Jareesh (crushed whole grains-boiled) should be cooked with lean meat or skinless chicken without adding oil on the top of the dish.
• Sambosa is better to be baked, not fried, and to be stuffed with vegetables or lentils than fatty meet.
Finally, the meals should be divided into three (Iftar, Midnight & Sahoor) and served on the dining table in moderate portions. Leftover should be kept safely in refrigerator.
It is very important to adopt healthy lifestyle during Ramadan, including healthy shopping and cooking, eating moderately, practicing exercise and avoid smoking; in order to achieve the health objectives of fasting Ramadan and avoid health complications and weight gain.

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