By Amina Abdul Salam
One kahk (cookies) that weighs five grammes equals 230 calories and one biscuit which weighs 15g contains from 70 to 90 calories due to a high fat content.
At the end of Ramadan, many people who were fasting complain of health problems due to the sudden change in the dietary pattern. According to Dr Ayman el-Haggar, Researcher in Nutrition, National Research Centre, fasting for long periods and the changes in times of eating, can result in several health problems.
Gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhoea, constipation and increased acidity as well as, an imbalance in the level of sugar in the blood are, for example, common. Hypertension and becoming overweight can also occur.
Dr el-Haggar points out that many people wrongly believe that meals are only the three known meals per day. They do not take into consideration food that is eaten throughout the day. But the fact is that everything that is eaten and drunk, especially during the days of the feast, such as biscuits, kahk (cookies), sweets, nuts, soft drinks and juices may constitute a meal, or a part of a meal.
Everybody must be aware of the calories that he or she eats or drinks. He says that people differ in their dietary needs, according to age, gender, weight, state of health and effort exerted.
For example, a person whose age ranges between 25 and 35 years and weighs 70kg and takes account of the average effort he exerts, is in need of 2,375 calories.
Regarding the kahk and biscuits that are served during the feast days of Eid el-Fitr (the lesser Bairam), Dr el-Haggar says that just one kahk that weighs five grammes equals 230 calories and one biscuit which weighs 15g contains from 70 to 90 calories due to a high fat content. Therefore, if a person eats a lot of kahk or biscuits, this leads to confusion in digestive process.
For spending the Lesser Bairam in good health, Dr el-Haggar recommends people eat small meals gradually so as to be easy on the digestion and divide the main dietary meals into three. It is also good to eat fruits rich in fibres between the main meals.
If you suffer from diabetes orcardiovascular diseases, you should consult your therapist on how to amend your doses of medicine.
Avoid high levels of glucose in the blood after the days of Iftar and drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration and becoming overweight. Keeping a proper amount of salts in the body because increasing or decreasing salts may lead to a health problem with kidney functions.
Bad habits are common, especially during feast days, Dr el-Haggar says. Salty fish should be replaced with a sea food soup, or grilled fish because they are easy to digest.
And he recommends a green salad that is rich in fibres and mineral salts and vitamins to go with the fish. In addition, lupine has many benefits because it is rich in fibres and diabetics should eat a lot fibres to slow down the absorption of glucose.