In addition to holding back hunger and thirst, fasting certainly has many health benefits, one of which is to improve the performance of the digestive system in our body. However, poor eating habits in the fasting month, as well as mistakes in choosing fasting and dawn food, can actually eliminate the benefits of fasting on health.
What eating habits should we avoid during fasting?
1. Open and sahur with junk food
Filling the abdomen during the fasting month, especially during dawn and breaking fast, is indeed required. However, many people fill it with high-fructose syrup, MSG (for flavoring), excess sodium, and oils that can clog the heart. If you are in a hurry, many choices are healthy and lawful, which is certainly very good for breaking the fast. However, a bad habit that is often done is breaking the fast together at a junk food restaurant.
Junk food, such as chips, instant noodles, and other less nutritious foods should not be used as food intake. You will not have enough energy during fasting, because what you eat does not produce anything for the body. Conversely, when you eat enough nutritious food, you will feel more full, so you don't have to eat large portions.
2. Break with oily food and contain lots of sugar
Fried foods contain high oil so that it will be difficult for the body to digest, especially when you eat these foods when you break your fast. Use natural sweeteners such as honey or sugar from sugar cane or eat fruits to replace sweet foods or drinks. Sweet foods or drinks will be digested faster, and it will make you feel hungry faster.
3. Consume too much carbohydrate at dawn
Carbohydrates will turn into sugar and will react to your body after you finish eating. Relying on refined carbohydrate foods for energy, especially during dawn, can cause insulin spikes and weight gain, especially around the upper body.
Dr. Ravi Arora, a diabetic specialist in the hospital. NMC Abu Dhabi, said that prolonged fasting can cause acidity in the stomach and this condition can be made worse by consuming too much carbohydrate when breaking fast, so it will cause discomfort in the stomach and gastritis. Relying on too much carbohydrate at dawn will also cause you to want more sugar and also increase hunger in the afternoon before breaking the fast.
If you eat carbohydrates, it would be very good to keep up with foods that are rich in protein. Relying on proteins such as chicken, fish, shrimp, meat and cheese will help keep the muscle and fat ratio in the body healthy at the end of Ramadan, so you can eat comfortably during Eid.
4. Drink caffeinated drinks at dawn and open
Drinking tea or coffee at dawn will result in loss of water (dehydration) and will quickly cause hunger. Caffeine contained in tea and coffee can cause headaches. Dr. Abed said that people who fast should fill their bodies with water at dawn and when breaking fast to reduce dehydration. However, drinking too much water is also not good, because it will melt stomach acid, causing bloating and disrupting digestion.
5. Go straight to sleep after dawn
Immediately sleeping after you eat big will cause various digestive problems, because your body must work hard to digest food when your body is in rest mode. Even if you don't really sleep, just lying on a bed or sofa after eating can trigger symptoms of ulcers. Ulcer is caused by excessive stomach acid, which then rises to the chest, even to the throat.
Another health condition, namely gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or often known as gastric acid disorder, occurs because the valve between your stomach and esophagus is not completely closed, making stomach acid from the stomach rise to the throat. Lying directly after eating can make your stomach acid worse.
6. Skip sahur
Rashi Chowdhary, a nutritionist, says that apart from things to avoid when fasting such as eating fried foods, too much sugar and excessive caffeine, there is a negative habit that will greatly affect your body such as spending time at dawn. Waking up to dawn and eating enough will give your body energy until midday. Skipping dawn can also cause dehydration, bad breath, and digestive problems. Foods that enter during dawn will help your body to get nutrients for the next few hours.
7. Eat too much when breaking fast
Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi accommodates as many as 50 patients per day during Ramadan, which on average have symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, acute abdominal pain, and stomach inflammation. Dr. Magdi Mohamed, emergency medicine specialist at the hospital. Burjeel explains that this is caused by overeating when breaking fast, especially those that are rich in carbohydrates. He said that when it's time to break the fast, you have to treat your stomach carefully, one of which is to eat 2-3 small meals like dates, along with a glass of water.
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