Muslims have been advised to be cautious and particular with their food intake, during this year’s Ramadan.
“It is very important to go through the fasting period, with a good understanding of how to break the fast, with regards to what food to eat, as well as the ones to be avoided.”
Mr Issah Sumaila, a registered dietician, said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, at a health walk which was organised by the Ghana Academy of Muslim Professionals in Accra.
He said while fasting was a needed religious practice, it could also be therapeutic and useful in controlling and even curing certain health conditions such as diabetes.
The dietician advised against foods that were high in fat, sugar and cholesterol and when breaking the fast, “go easy on complex carbohydrates. You could take them in moderate amounts, but not too much.”
Mr Sumaila said foods such as rice and banku could be taken in moderate quantities as well as animal protein and quickly added, “but these proteins should have no fat.”
He said the date palm fruit was an excellent food source for breaking the fast, although other fruits could be eaten, especially those that do not contain high quantities of acid.
“Because some people have bad reactions to fruits that contain high levels of acid, we do not typically recommend them,” Mr Sumaila said.
He cautioned against those who tried to make up for the fasting period by taking in huge quantities of food upon breaking the fast, without paying heed to health implications.
“When we break fast, please do not say we are going to eat in order to make up for the fasting period,” the dietician cautioned.
Mr Sumaila noted that several cases of gastritis and peptic ulcer came up right after the Ramadan, with most of the cases coming from the Muslim community, because most people did not know how to break the fast properly.
He particularly cautioned against spices and oils when breaking the fast and urged all Muslims to be particular with their food intake during the period.