UAE: Maintain a balanced diet, avoid overeating; how to continue healthy practices after Ramadan – News



UAE: Maintain a balanced diet, avoid overeating; how to continue healthy practices after Ramadan - News image.khaleejtimes.com?uuid=b0608d3e 950d 42fc b303 e4b2a6b46881&function=cropresize&type=preview&source=false&q=75&crop w=0.99999&crop h=0

Published: Sun 1 May 2022, 17:45

After a month of refraining from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, community members must return to the pre-Ramadan schedule in a balanced way, a senior health official said.

Ahead of the Eid Al Fitr celebrations, Dr. Omniyat Al Hajeri, Executive Director of Community Health at the Abu Dhabi Public Health Center, noted that people should consider the positive health and nutrition habits they followed during Ramadan.

“We should adopt some of the practices we learned during the holy month, such as mindful eating and stopping when we feel relatively full and gradually returning to our pre-Ramadan eating and exercise schedules,” he told Khaleej Times.

Dr. Al Hajeri stressed that people should avoid overeating during the holidays. “This is to avoid electrocuting your body and triggering undesirable spikes in your blood sugar, which, in turn, would lead to effects like indigestion, heartburn, and weight gain.

“We recommend avoiding large saturated fat meals instead of dividing meals into light meals at 3-4 hour intervals and eating frequent, small snacks spread throughout the day to regulate blood sugar. Also, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.” and incorporating healthy fluids.”

Dr Omniyat Al Hajeri, Executive Director of Community Health, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre.  Photo: Supplied

Dr Omniyat Al Hajeri, Executive Director of Community Health, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre. Photo: Supplied

Dr. Al Hajeri emphasized having a balanced diet to maximize the health benefits of fasting during the holy month.

“Ramadan teaches us to take care of ourselves spiritually and physically. We should always eat and move in ways that serve our body and our overall health. An important pillar of Ramadan is to eat in moderation. Moderation does not mean eliminating the foods you like, but eating them selectively to achieve a balanced diet. Therefore, you can eat your sweets in small quantities and make sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables. We recommend everyone eat slowly, especially coming out of Ramadan, as you want to avoid feelings of over-arousal that could lead to a binge episode.”

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Dr. Al Hajeri recommended that people stay active and exercise regularly through a routine.

“Movement is also key to maintaining healthy joints and a healthy cardiovascular system. I advise people to go out and try different forms of exercise and see what they like to do the most. This will make them want to exercise regularly instead of dreading it and seeing it as a chore. Design your environment for success and make sure you have easy access to healthy foods and ready-to-eat healthy meals and snacks. Make your exercise program and activities a part of your daily routine while making sure to include some fun, social activities that you can enjoy with your friends and family. Finally, practice healthy habits regularly, reflect on your habits and your progress, and track your health gains.”

Dr. Al Hajeri added that people might consider fasting more often than during Ramadan.

“The effects of fasting have been proven globally and continue to gain prevalence in the world of health and fitness. These include regulating blood sugar, fighting inflammation, improving heart health by improving blood pressure, stimulating brain function, and aiding in weight loss. Of course, when it comes to people with non-communicable diseases, we recommend consulting their doctors before attempting fasting, as it could have adverse effects in their specific cases.”