The important 5 tips for Diabetic patients during Ramadan5 Important tips for Diabetic patients during Ramadan
By : Sirine Takieddine, Dietitian , RAK Diabetes Center , Jumeirah
1- It is very important for Diabetic patients to visit the doctor a week prior to Ramadan to see if they can fast or not. The doctor will check their glucose levels as well as few medical tests to see if their diabetes is under control
2- Suhoor is a very important meal and shouldn’t be missed. Carbohydrates should be whole wheat instead of refined. Such as brown rice, brown bread, brown pasta. Having whole wheat food will keep your sugar levels steady the day after. Switching from regular potato to sweet potato is also a good option. Avoid animal protein and canned items for suhoor because it makes you thirsty. Have protein from plant sources such as legumes: chickpeas, green peas, kidney beans etc.. avoid sweets because this will spiral your sugar levels the next day and keep you feeling thirsty. If you feel like sweets, have 2 small dates
3- Always break the fast with 1 cup room temperature water. Avoid breaking the fast with very cold drinks because this will cause discomfort to your stomach and will lead to digestion problems. After the water, have 1 cup low fat milk or yogurt with 3 small dates or any dried fruits. Wait for 10-15min before you start with the iftar meal. Have variety of soups every day for iftar, don’t stick to one or two types, to be able to get as much vitamins and minerals all through Ramadan. Avoid adding too much oil and heavy creams. Keep them vegetables or legume based soups. For legumes, don’t forget to have a squeezes of lemon in your bowl because our body doesn’t absorb the iron found in plant based foods without some vitamin C. try to drink around 2 L of water from iftar to suhoor. Every hour have 1 cup of water. Don’t over load your body at one time.
4- Every person should avoid refined flour because from its name, it means that the wheat has been completely refined, all the nutritious parts of the wheat has been removed which mostly consists of fiber. The fiber avoids the sugar to rise as steeply in the blood as it normally would with refined products. The foods that are fried like sambosek or spring rolls etc.. can be made in the oven with little vegetable oil rather than deep frying. Give your taste buds little time to get used to the taste and make it a lifestyle. A diabetic should have 4 small meals a day; iftar, after 2 hours a small snack, after 2 hours another snack, and then the suhoor meal. Avoid having a large iftar meal because that will keep you tired all day.
5- For iftar, start with the soup and salad. Then have a balanced meal that includes fiber rich carbohydrates, like brown pasta, rice, quinoa, wild rice or sweet potato, and a lean source of protein such as chicken breast, fish, salmon, shrimps or lean red meats. After an hour have a serving or two of fruits or raw nuts with some dried fruits. At suhoor have a light meal such as 2 brown toasts with low fat white cheeses and vegetables or oats with low fat milk and dried fruits or legumes with a piece of brown bread. If you like to have cooked meals, have it only 2 to 3 times a week and include high fiber carbohydrates.
Ramadan Kareem !!!!