Dates, Fruit Salads, Smoothies, Falooda and Yummy Juices!! Ramadan is a great time to eat more fruits. Start your iftaar with 3 dates based on the Prophet’s Sunnah, or 1/2 a cup of fruit, or water. It is the best food to eat when you break your fast because it immediately nourishes your body with the much needed sugar to fuel the brain and other body cells.
Fruit is good for health because of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, but it is important to not eat TOO much – especially juices and sherbets. Like with any good habit – always maintain moderation. For people who have diabetes or at risk of diabetes it is especially important to limit your fruit intake to no more than ½ a cup or 1 cup at a time. For specific recommendations for you please contact me directly.
If fruit is good why should I limit it?
Fruits contain simple sugars which digest very quickly and enter our blood stream as glucose. Whenever our body gets a high flow of sugar in the blood (from fruits, juices or any other source) soon after, our cells absorbs this and the blood sugar drops as fast as it went up. This low blood sugar will signal the brain to give more sugar to balance the blood sugar to normal levels. This is when we feel hungry or crave sweets. We misunderstand these signals and again feed our body with excess sugar and the same cycle repeats. This eventually exhausts our body and leads to insulin resistance and diabetes.
Slowing the sugar release in the blood can decrease our chances of feeling hungry, getting sweet cravings and developing diabetes in the future. This is why the amount of fruits and sugary foods we eat at each meal or snack should be carefully monitored. This doesn’t happen only with sweets and fruits, but with any refined carbohydrates (like rice, pasta, noodle, bread etc – as we discussed yesterday).
How much? The amount of fruit that is recommended for adults is about 2 – 4 servings per day.
1 serving equals 1 small piece of fruit such as apple, pear, orange, peach, guava etc
Or ½ a cup of fruits like grapes, berries, mango, grapefruit, dates etc.
Always try to eat fruits with other foods that have protein such as nuts or dairy products, to slow the release of sugar in to the blood stream.
Type of Fruits to eat: Eat fruits from every colour, the brighter the colour the better. Each colour of the fruit is made up of chemicals called antioxidants – which have unique disease fighting properties. Choose fruits that are lower in sugar such as berries. And fruits that have more fibre like:
- Passion fruit
- Pear with skin
- Apricots with skin
- Peach or Nectarine with skin
- Plum with skin
- Dried plum or prunes
- Apple with skin
Juices, Sweets and Added Sugar:
Rooh afza and many other commonly used sherbets in Ramadan are not fruit juices. Like fruits these also can have the same effect on your hunger and cravings. If you must have these drinks keep it to less than half a cup. Instead have 100% fruit juices (made from whole fruit) – or blend your own fruit or make smoothies. Also adding seeds like Sabja, tukmaria or chia can increase the fibre in these juices to prevent hunger and cravings, and to slow the release of sugar in the blood stream.
Try to limit your sweets and added sugar (white sugar, brown sugar, honey, syrup or high-fructose corn syrup) intake to no more than 3 teaspoons or 15 grams (check food labels) at a single meal..