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Healthy eating during Ramadan

With long hours of fasting and a wide spread to choose from, eating healthy at an elaborate, appetising Iftar can sometimes be a distant dream. But that need not always be the case, because it is quite easy to eat and keep your weighing scale happy during this holy month. All you have to do is prepare and eat food made from fresh ingredients, cooked in a healthy manner for a nutritious Ramadan meal. This will keep you nourished while setting a good example for your family and friends.


Preliminary preparations for healthier foods in Ramadan


  • Choose fresh vegetables as they contain higher amounts of vitamins and minerals
  • Use fresh fruits to prepare juices and serve them in moderation without adding sugar
  • Use low fat milk and other low fat dairy products
  • Avoid using butter and ghee in cooking and substitute them with vegetable oils in small amounts
  • Try using lean meat, fish and skinless chicken, and prepare them by grilling, boiling and baking rather than frying


For you to get all the nutrients needed by the body, your meals should contain all the basic food groups (bread and grains, fruits and vegetables, meat and legumes, milk and dairy products).


Here are a few things to choose from and a few to avoid:


To help you choose the right foods during the holy month, we have prepared a simple guide, loaded with many healthy food choices to keep you energetic and nurtured all through Ramadan.


Meat and other protein sources


  • Fish
  • Grilled or boiled skinless chicken or turkey
  • Lean veal or lamb
  • Moderate amounts of prawns
  • Legumes such as beans, lentils, and peas
  • Eggs (egg yolk) 3 times per week (including eggs in cooked foods)


  • Fried chicken and duck
  • Fatty meats
  • Liver and organ meats
  • Hotdog and sausages
  • Large amounts of prawn, shrimp and shellfish


Milk and dairy products


  • Skimmed or low fat milk
  • Skimmed or low fat yoghurt and labneh
  • Low fat cheese


  • Whole milk
  • Ice cream and whipped cream
  • Full cream yoghurt and labneh
  • Full cream cheeses especially yellow cheeses
  • Creamy and cheese sauces


Fruits and vegetables


  • All fresh vegetables, boiled, baked, steamed or cooked with a little oil
  • Seasoned vegetables or vegetables with lemon juice or a little oil
  • Fresh fruits and natural fruit juice (in moderation)


  • Coconut (the only fruit rich in saturated fats that are unhealthy for the heart)
  • Fried vegetables
  • Boiled vegetables with butter
  • Juices with added sugar


Bread and grains


  • Arabic or brown bread
  • Plain spaghetti or rice (without ghee or high fat sauce)
  • Grains with no added fat
  • Baked or boiled potatoes


  • Pastries that contain large amounts of fat (doughnuts, croissants, Danish pastries)
  • Fried rice
  • Fried potato chips or French fries
  • Sweetened Kaak and deserts


With such an assorted list of food available for you to choose from, this religious journey will surely be a pleasantly, healthy trip. And with a better view of your choices this Ramadan, you now hold the key to a nutritious diet.


Just remember, whatever you decide to eat, a balanced food plan containing healthy ingredients, cooked right will help you enjoy Iftar and Suhour while giving you good health and more energy.

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