Dubai: Iftars and suhoors are two important elements of Ramadan, as you need to replenish your body with healthy food to continue fasting the next day.
However, some residents may be tempted to skip suhoor after a grand meal and opt to take in countless glasses of water with the hope that their body will be hydrated enough to last the whole day.
A health officer at Dubai Municipality explained that while it may be difficult to wake up for suhoor, it should not be an excuse to slack off when preparing a healthy meal.
“Drinking more water doesn’t mean that you’ll be more hydrated, as it will only provide short-term benefits,” said Shugufta M. Zubair, food safety awareness officer at Dubai Municipality.
“Of course water is not harmful, and it is good for the body, but people should not forget about the importance of suhoor.”
Residents are advised to make the most out of their suhoor by focusing on an equal portion of carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables, which should be accompanied with dairy or milk products.
Did you know there are 19 different superfoods you can include in your Ramadan diet?
“Carbs, such as chapatti and roti, give us energy and since they play an important role in our diet, we should have a meal that is comprised by one third of carbs, one third of protein and one third of vegetables,” she said.
Proteins are used in the regulation of the body's tissues and organs, while dairy products are abundant in calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
“Some people cook at night and leave food out for more than two hours, which causes bacteria to grow,” said Zubair.
“Eggs, especially because of the summer heat, should never be kept out for a long time and its yolk has to be used immediately,” she said.
- Wash your hands, especially after using the bathroom and before cooking and eating.
- Wash surfaces when cooking.
- Keep raw food separate from cooked food.
- Thaw and marinate foods in the refrigerator; if in a hurry, thaw foods under cool running water.
- Use foods within expiration dates.
- Cook foods until they reach the right temperature: meats and seafood to at least 63C, stuffed fish and ground chicken to 74C, ground beef to 77C and whole poultry and pieces to 82C.
- Cook eggs until the egg white and yolk are firm.
- Leave cooked food out for more than two hours.
- Store perishable foods in the door container.
- Keep thawing and refreezing the same food, as each process increases contamination risk.