Islamabad-Fasting in this Ramazan is expected to last over 16 hours on most days. However, a balanced diet during ‘Sehri’ and ‘Iftar’ can have positive effects on health of people who are fasting, a World Health Organization (WHO) health advisory stated.

The issued statement said that a healthy diet should provide us with the right amount of energy (calories or kilojoules), from foods and drinks to maintain the energy balance.

How much energy you need from foods and drinks depends on various different things, such as how active you are. Eating only as many calories as you need will help to maintain a healthy weight. However, the foods and drinks you choose need to be the right ones, and in the right proportions to stay healthy. Drink plenty of fluids, as well as consuming fluid-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, soups and stews. High temperatures can also make you sweat more, so it is important to drink fluids to replace what you lose during the day and to start the next day of fasting well hydrated (at least 10 glasses).

Fasting with diabetes

People who are ill or have medical conditions do not have to fast. Those suffering from with Type 1 diabetes are generally advised not to fast as it puts them at higher risk of hypoglycaemia and dehydration. People who have their diabetes under control, either by their diet or using tablets, may be able to fast. Those who need insulin to control their diabetes are generally advised not to fast. However, if you do choose to fast, then you must consult your doctor or healthcare team before Ramazan, to make sure that you are able to look after yourself properly. Failing to do so is in itself contrary to the Qur’an, which clearly states that you must not act in a way that harms your body.

If, after consulting with your doctor, you decide to fast, note that you will require less insulin before the start of the fast, and the type of insulin may also need to be changed (pre-mixed insulin is not recommended during fasting). Try to eat just before sunrise and include more slowly absorbed food such as basmati rice and daal, in your meal, along with fruit and vegetables. Check your blood glucose levels more often than you normally would do. At the end of fasting you should drink plenty of sugar-free and decaffeinated fluids to avoid being dehydrated, and take small quantities of food, while avoiding sweet or fatty foods.