Healthy holiday tables and meals during Ramadan Bayram

Healthy holiday tables and meals during Ramadan Bayram

ANKARA (AA): The Ministry of Health has recommended that you start the day with a light breakfast, drink at least 2.5-3 liters of liquids and opt for small portions of milky desserts during Ramadan Bayram, also known as Eid al-Fitr.

Ahead of the upcoming Ramadan Bayram, the ministry has prepared a list of suggestions that include the fundamentals of healthy, proper nutrition.

The list highlights principles of balanced nutrition and also draws attention to the harms of frequent or excessive consumption of sugar, chocolate and pastries like baklava and börek, which rapidly increase blood sugar levels. Instead, it suggests people eat milk puddings or the Ramadan staple dessert güllaç, a traditional delicacy made of thin layers of phyllo-like pastry of the same name that are each sprinkled with walnuts then doused in milk and topped with pomegranate arils.

Accordingly, the increase in the number of meals and the desire to eat more during the holiday following the most of fasting can open the door to digestive disorders.

During the bayram, it is recommended that all five basic food groups are featured on one’s plate, including milk and dairy products, meat and eggs, legumes, vegetables and fruits, and bread and cereals. It is also important to consume these foods in sufficient quantities in order to have an adequate and balanced diet.

The ministry’s recommendations for healthy nutrition, including the 12 items for bayram, are as follows:

With the end of Ramadan, the amount of food consumed should not suddenly increase and attention should be paid to the number of meals and snacks being eaten. Drinks such as fresh fruit juices, kefir and ayran – a refreshing drink made by mixing yogurt, water and salt – can be added to the diet as well as snacks like low-sugar compotes, almonds and hazelnuts.

The day should begin with a light breakfast on the morning of the bayram, and foods that are fried or roasted are not encouraged. Raw vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers, fresh herbs like parsley, low-salt cheese and boiled eggs are recommended. Fatty foods such as sausages, salami, pastries and sucuk – a dry, spicy, fermented beef sausage – should be avoided.

It is important to chew all food well and not to eat too quickly.

In order to avoid stomach and intestinal issues during Ramadan Bayram, attention should be paid to the overconsumption of sugar and sugary foods, and the tendency to overeat should be avoided as much as possible.

Instead of pastry and syrup-based desserts, milky desserts in small portions or a small amount of fresh or dried fruits can be eaten instead during the bayram.

Adults should consume at least three portions of vegetables and two portions of fruit per day, if possible. These foods, which are high in fiber, also prevent a rapid rise in blood sugar.

Those who have chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure should also pay attention to their diet during the holiday.

At least 2.5-3 liters of fluid should be consumed per day to replace the fluid loss that may occur in the body due to the decrease in liquid consumption during Ramadan. To replenish fluid levels, drinks such as water, ayran and low-sugar lemonade should be consumed. Low-sugar/sugar-free compotes or hoşaf (stewed fruit) also help with liquid intake.

It is not recommended that anybody, especially the elderly and those with high blood pressure, consume beverages with high caffeine content such as tea and coffee in large quantities throughout the day.

During the holiday period, people should return to their pre-Ramadan sleeping patterns to prevent the habit of eating late at night.

Furthermore, it is also beneficial to increase physical activity, which is reduced during the month of Ramadan, with the end of the fasting period.

Being as active as possible in your daily life is the first step to being healthy. One way could be to travel by foot if possible when visiting friends and family over the bayram. For an adult, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week – e.g., walking briskly for 30 minutes five days a week – or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity (basketball, tennis, swimming, etc.) per week is recommended. It should not be forgotten that physical activity helps to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, control weight and increase bowel movements.

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