Eating in moderation
considerable amounts of oil, sugar, coconut milk, fat and salt, not to mention artificial flavouring, sodium and preservatives.
It is no surprise then that high consumption of such foods coupled with long hours of inactivity can put people at risk of gaining weight.
People need to monitor their food intake to ensure they eat everything in moderation. It is important to cut down on fried chicken, French fries and other fried foods as these foods are high sources of saturated fat and calories.
Prof Lee says, “Some people may find dishes rich in oil and coconut milk to cause abdominal discomfort, indigestion, gas and reflux.”
He shares that patients with underlying heart disease, diabetes mellitus and hypertension may also find their diseases worsening when consuming large amounts of such foods during Ramadan.
Prof Lee, who is also professor of medicine and consultant of gastroenterology at Universiti Sains Malaysia, adds, “Some people may find processed foods to cause abdominal discomfort, indigestion, gas and reflux as well. In more severe cases, they lead to the possibility of food poisoning, causing diarrhoea, vomiting and fever.”
Keep properly hydrated
A complete meal with the right nutrients, fibre and roughage will help prevent people from feeling lethargic or weak as they go about their daily activities.
Many individuals do not drink enough fluids during the non-fasting window, which can cause dehydration and even constipation during the day.
Relying heavily on caffeinated drinks such as colas, energy drinks, tea and coffee, however, will further dehydrate the body.
While breaking fast, drinks and desserts such as rose syrup, air bandung, cendol and colourful kuih-muih are sweet to the taste and can be refreshing but these treats are also sources of empty calories that will add some unwanted kilogrammes to your weight.
People need to consume such treats moderately. As a better alternative, you can consume coconut water to quench your thirst and remain hydrated.
Another way to keep hydrated is to consume more fruits. Whether consumed whole, as fresh juice or a slushy, fruits provide high amounts of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre that are important for the body and also a good way to detoxify the digestive system.
Granted, there are many tasty and delicious delicacies to feast upon in Malaysia. However, many of these dishes should not be a staple in any diet, particularly for those who are fasting this month.
Fortunately, there are countless alternatives available that can provide the right nutritional requirements to last the day. One simply has to be more mindful of his or her daily intake.
Moderate food consumption is important when fasting to ensure the body is still sufficiently nourished.