April 23, 2020, will mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. During this time, the two meals of the day – Suhoor and Iftar, will be the only meals had by Muslims fasting around the globe. It means that the day’s nutrients have to be packed in these two meals. For someone with diabetes who is fasting during Ramadan, this means that along with a change in diet, there are changes in the routine and self-care habits which need to be performed during Suhoor.
Suhoor is the meal to be eaten before sunrise, after which those who are fasting cannot have any food or water. As a result, Suhoor becomes the most important meal of the day. So whatever you eat at Suhoor should be healthy enough to sustain your energy for the day.
Here are some steps to make your Suhoor healthy.
- Test your blood glucose
After waking up, be sure to test your blood glucose before you have your sunrise meal. Not only will this help you keep track of your blood sugar levels, but it will also help you decide if the level is good enough for you to fast the whole day. Your doctor is the best person who can tell you the levels that you need to watch. In case your blood sugar levels are not within the healthy range, do follow your doctor’s recommendations to avoid any health troubles.
Your suhoor plate
Foods like eggs, oatmeal(use rolled or steel-cut oats rather than instant oats), and chapati have nutrients needed for surviving a whole day1 of fasting without risking any complications like low blood sugar. Having an ample amount of water is also recommended. Since it is good to have eight glasses of water a day, you can have four for Suhoor. Doing so will help you keep your energy up the entire day and stay hydrated.
An ideal Suhoor plate should have:
- Two chapatis or a bowl of oatmeal: for carbohydrates
- Eggs, chicken, dals, sprouts, soya or paneer: they are a good source of protein
- Fruits and vegetables like apple, papaya, pear, green leafy vegetables etc
- Water: to keep you hydrated till Iftar
Some things to keep in mind while preparing your Suhoor meal:
- Limit oil in the food to two teaspoons.
- Limit the amount of salt in foods.
- Apart from having just water, try and use water in the food you cook, like lentils.
- Have your Suhoor as late as you can, especially if you’re going to fast for more than 10 hours.
Test your blood glucose after your meal
Be sure to test your blood glucose two hours after your meal to see if your blood sugar levels are within a healthy range.
- Can I fast with diabetes during Ramadan? – Diabetes Voice [Internet]. IDF. 2020 [cited 5 March 2020]. Available from: https://diabetesvoice.org/en/caring-for-diabetes/can-i-fast-with-diabetes-during-ramadan/