Diabetics must consult their doctors before deciding to fast in Ramadan even though the month can be an excellent way to improve overall health, the Saudi Diabetes and Endocrine Association (SDEA) said recently.
Abdulaziz Al-Turki, chairman of the SDEA, and Kamil Salamah, the body’s general secretary, said the organization recently issued guidelines for diabetics who want to fast.
These have been shared with the International Diabetes Federation at the head office in Geneva and in the Middle East and North Africa region with sister associations, said Al-Turki.
The guidelines cover nutrition and healthy eating, exercise, self-monitoring, adjustment of medication, safe driving and management of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia during Ramadan.
All diabetics must check with their doctors before fasting and consult them for medication and meals. He said fasting in Ramadan is an excellent opportunity for diabetics to achieve better blood sugar control, lose weight if obese, and quit smoking.
He also urged the public to reduce food waste because it increases during Ramadan to 45 percent in comparison to 30 percent during other months. He said cooking and serving food in accurate portions by using ‘My Plate’ model would help.
These guidelines would promote economic, social and environmental health. The body’s education committee also recommended appropriate usage of resources, including water and energy.
The SDEA has posted on its website several guidelines related to fasting including nutrition and healthy ways to prepare popular Ramadan dishes. There should be a focus on consuming more fruits and vegetables, low fat and non-fat dairy products, whole grains and cereals, legumes, lean meat, skinless poultry, seafood and healthy oils in moderation.
The guidelines advise reducing the consumption of sugary drinks, fatty and fried foods, butter, ghee, salt, fatty meat, white bread, sweetened cereals, desserts and simple sugar. People must avoid overeating, and drink lots of water at night to prevent dehydration.
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