Doctor in front of a bright background

Srinagar, May 25: Doctors have advised people to take a balanced diet in the holy month of Ramadan, while recommending regular monitoring of their blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
Doctors said that fasting from sunrise to sunset tempts people towards the available overabundance of food choices, eventually exposing them to health hazards.
Questioned by The Kashmir Monitor, the valley-based health experts provide recommendations to fasting people who look to make the most of this holy month.
Dr Salim Khan, Head Community Medicine Department at the Government Medical College Srinagar, explained, “Both Suhoor and Iftar should be well-balanced including foods such as vegetables, cereals, meat, dairy products and fruits.”
Dr Khan, however, advised not to reach for calorie-rich foods after a day of deprivation.
“Food items such as highly-processed meat, fast burning foods such as sugar, white flour, cakes, biscuits, chocolates, soft drinks, deep-fried foods should be avoided at all cost,” he said.
Echoing similar views, Dr Imtiaz Ahmad, a senior doctor at the Sub-District Hospital, Pattan, recommended taking of fibre-rich foods during this month.
“Oat meal is a perfect meal for body needs during Suhoor. Soluble fibre turns to gel in the stomach and slows digestion, which helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose, perfect to keep you energized throughout your fast,” he said.
He added, “Salty food disturbs balance of sodium levels in body and makes a person very thirsty while fasting so one should try to avoid salted nuts, pickles, chips and food that contain soya sauce.”
Noted Nephrologist, Dr Khurshid Banday stressed on keeping the body hydrated especially in this month.
He cautioned, “Owing to the daylight hours, the fasting period has gone up. In these conditions, the insufficient fluid intake can lead to dehydration, kidney stones or lethargy due of fall in blood pressure.”
He said, “Water intake should be planned carefully. Several ways of hydrating the body may include drinking fruit juices and vegetable soups and avoiding tea and coffee.”
Commenting on patients with health complications like diabetes, Banday said, “Fasting in such patients results in metabolic changes and hence it is important to adjust the diabetes management plan. The patients have to modify their medicines and timings accordingly.”
He further said, “The diabetic patients must monitor their blood sugar levels multiple times in a day and consult their doctor at the slightest doubt.”

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