It is not just important to focus on what you eat, but how you eat it. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: After fasting from sunrise to sunset, it is extremely important to consider the food that you eat as you end your fast. To help residents make healthier choices for iftar, suhour and any snacks in between these two major meals, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has issued healthy tips and guidelines for the month of Ramadan.

According to the guide, it is not just important to focus on what you eat, but how you eat it.

So, if you want to make sure you maintain your energy levels throughout the day during Ramadan, here is a step-by-step guide to staying health and active.

Break your fast wisely: Essential iftar tips for sustained energy

1. Start with a few dates, drink a glass of water or Laban to avoid indigestion, and then eat your main meal after a while. Eating in moderation is a main factor in maintaining good health.
2. Drink water slowly at room temperature and avoid cold water because it causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the capillaries in the stomach, which leads to indigestion.
3. Start with soup, preferably vegetable soup, to provide the body with vitamins, minerals, and fibres to help you feel full, stimulate digestion, and prevent constipation.
4. Then eat the main dish. Your main dish should be a balanced healthy meal consisting of different varieties of food like cereals, pulses, meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables so that the body gets all the essential nutrients. You can get protein in the form of meat or legumes such as beans, white beans or beans, and also have some carbohydrates such as rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, fruits and vegetables (fresh or cooked).
5. Avoid overconsumption of caffeine-containing drinks such as tea and coffee.

Between iftar and suhour – a healthy meal

Have a snack or two between iftar and suhour such as a fruit, a fruit yoghurt or a few unsalted nuts is advised. According to DHA, you should have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, either fresh or cooked, per day.

Suhour secrets: Power up for a long day of fasting

Eating suhour helps prevent fatigue and headaches during Ramadan and relieves severe thirst. It is preferable to delay suhour as much as possible and try to consume foods that satiate you for a longer time so that you do not feel hungry quickly.

• Suhour should be balanced and contain nutrient-rich foods, such as oats, dairy (unsalted cheeses or labnah), fruits and vegetables and foods containing dietary fibre and protein.
• Avoid eating salty foods such as pickles, salty olives and salty cheese. Avoid spicy food or junk food.
• Do not overeat foods high in sugar because it increases the feeling of hunger.