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Protein, fiber, naps and more fasting tips to avoid getting hangry during Ramadan

Ada Tseng, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Religious News

Soumar Haddad, clinical dietitian at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, recommends easing into eating after a fast. It's a Muslim tradition to break fast with dates — the Prophet Muhammad is said to have broken his fast with three dates — and this also has health benefits. "Dates have like 15 grams of carbs, one serving of carbs," Haddad said. "So it's instantly absorbed in the body so they get the energy boost right away."

She recommends following it up with some bone broth and an appetizer to slow down the hunger. "Give yourself a little bit of a break, and after your prayers, come back and have a regular-sized meal," she said.

Part of pacing yourself is also allowing yourself to satisfy various cravings in moderation, said Kubba — especially because there are often many social gatherings during Ramadan with delicious, not-so-healthy food.

"If you want something that's high-sodium, that's totally fine," she said. "As long as it's not every single day."

And make up for it by drinking more water, she said.

"You have to focus on what you're eating and when, because you don't want to lose momentum and crash," said Malik. "That could be a daily crash; it could be a midmonth crash."

 

What to eat

Generally, high-protein and high-fiber foods give you energy for longer, because they take longer to be digested and absorbed in the body. Too much sugar and other simple carbs, such as white bread, will cause your blood sugar to spike, and then you'll crash and feel hungrier.

"A morning meal high in protein is going to be really beneficial," said Khan. "Examples of protein foods are eggs, yogurt — Greek yogurt, in particular — beans, lentils, fish, chicken and nuts."

Whole-grain carbohydrates (whole grain breads, bagels, tortillas, oatmeal, quinoa) and healthy fats (avocado, nuts and seeds) will also help you feel satiated throughout the day. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, contain a variety of necessary vitamins and minerals and also provide hydration.

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