UGM nutritionist, DR. Mirza Hapsari Sakti Titis Penggalih, S.Gz., RD, MPH., said to keep the body fit while fasting during Ramadan can be done by having healthy food. When Muslims break their fast, they should not hurry to eat all the food on the table. It’s better to drink sweet and warm drinks as well as light snacks to get hydrated. It is suggested to avoid fatty foods such as fritters or drinks containing coconut milk.
“Having fritters is allowed but this should be minimised down to 2 pieces. Also, don’t use too much coconut milk so that it won’t burden the body and add to high fat contents,” she said on Wednesday (31/5) in the Health Nutrients Department of Faculty of Medicine UGM.
Having food rich in fibres is very recommended for breaking the fast. But avoid using too much sugar because this will make you exhausted and sleepy.
“Also, better avoid heavy food as this can cause abdominal disorders. You can have heavier intake after the night prayers but don’t eat in excess,” she said.
Mirza explained that during the pre-dawn meal (sehri) before starting the fast, the same pattern also prevails but at this time the calories need to be increased by having carbohydrate, for example rice, noodle, spaghetti, and oat. Of these four, oat is very recommended, the second rank is rice, followed by spaghetti, and noodles.
“Oat has highest fibres so it is fulfilling for longer. Noodles have low fibres so they quickly dissolve in the stomach,” she said.
It is also important to have good hydration by having 2 litres of water or 8 glasses a day. Mirza suggested to have 2 glasses during the pre-dawn meal, 2 glasses during the fast breaking, and 4 glasses in the evening and night.
Having the right drink is important to do, said Mirza, better to avoid tea or coffee as it can increase urination. Have isotonic drinks, milk or water instead.
She said the pre-dawn meal is important to have to give the body the energy whilst fasting. “It is important to have the pre-dawn meal. Otherwise, people can get weak, sleepy or fainting due to dehydration. People with certain disease such as diabetes may even suffer from a shock,” she said.
Mirza added apart from having healthy food during Ramadan, doing exercise is good to keep the blood flow well. The sports can be done at the right time and way, such as jogging, static bike, skipping, and streching, which can be done 30 minutes up to one hour before breaking the fast, after the night prayers, and before the pre-dawn meal.