As a dietitian, I was a guest during the morning show for one of Ramadan episodes.
The topic we’ve discussed was mainly about the sweets during the month of Ramadan, when should we eat them and what are the substitutes for those heavy sweets!
It was a very active and fun, yet professional interview that lasted for 20 minutes!
So Here are the questions covered!
Do we have to eat sweets everyday after the Iftar?
Of course not. This is a very wrong idea. During Ramadan we are fasting for more than 9 hours, so our metabolism is very slow on Iftar time. We can gain weight much faster than the normal other days. That’s why we have to be careful and do smart food choices. Some people gain and others lose weight during Ramadan, depending on what they eat. So sure it is not advisable to eat sweets everyday after Iftar.
When is the best time to eat sweets?
Usually I advice them to eat sweets after 2 hours from Iftar, when food has been digested! Sweets consumption usually happens when visiting parents or friends, so here is the best time for that, and surely not very late on Suhoor time. Sweets rich in butter and sugar will make us feel thirsty the next day.
Should we focus on the quantity or the quality of our sweets, whether talking about Arabic or other kinds of deserts?
We need to focus on both the quantity and quality of our food. We can’t have a light cake for example and binge on it! We need to eat in a balanced way, taking into consideration both the quantity and the quality, especially for those who suffer from high cholesterol levels.
In your opinion, how many calories can someone consume from eating sweets?
It all depends on the ingredients and the sweets portions. But usually one piece ranges from 200 to 450 calories!! (and here the camera men were so surprised and upset at the same time! looll). Some sweets are lower in calories than others like muhallabieh, pudding, custard, jello which range from 50 to 120 calories and are considered healthier than high fat sweets, rich in saturated fats and provide no benefits for our body.
Let’s say we are talking about kunafa, atayef, ice creams, mousse chocolate, and other heavy sweets, how can we choose alternatives to that? Give us ideas about those alternatives please.
There are lots of healthy alternatives to those sweets that provide no benefits at all.
– Amar Al deen and its drink: Rich in antioxidants which protect our body from all sorts of cancer. Plus they contain Lycopene responsible of the orange color. Lycopene protects men from prostate cancer and prevents fertility problems.
– Kharroub: Can be an alternative to chocolate, is low in calories, regulates insulin levels and works as a laxative.
– Khoushaf: Mixed of raw nuts, almonds, walnuts and raisins with rose water. Very refreshing sweet, rich in protein and fiber, decreases cholesterol and triglycerides levels.
Fruit salad with many seasonal fruits, topped with some almonds and honey: Rich in vitamins and minerals that were lost during the fasting day.
What about dates? Why is it that healthy? Can it be used instead of high fat sweets?
Dates are famous in Ramadan; this fruit is kind of tradition in Ramadan. They are rich in fiber which is needed a lot during this period, because constipation problems are more common during Ramadan (Our digestive system is not working well). Dates are rich in iron and all the essential minerals needed, like potassium, Vitamin A, C, B that our body lacked during long fasting hours. So it is an easy and simple food that compensates for the loss of minerals.
For example, we can prepare a banana date shake made of low-fat yogurt, dates, banana and a bit of honey: Very refreshing and fulfilling shake, provides all the essential nutrients and can be taken at Suhoor because it beats thirst!
Stuffed dates have more calories than the plain ones, but are also rich in unsaturated fat which is very healthy for us!
3 plain dates have 60 calories.
Usually dietitians advise us to eat 3 to 4 fruits in a normal day, Is it the same during Ramadan month?
During Ramadan it is also advisable to eat 3 to 4 fruits a day. We need to focus on fruits and not juices which are fiber free and have a lot of sugar and calories. We need to keep in mind that 3 dates are considered as one fruit, so they need to be taking into consideration.
At the end of this nice interview, what do you have to say miss Mira?
At the end, we can say for those who are watching us that they can treat themselves with a piece of their favorite sweet from time to time. Balance and moderation are the keys.
At home we can put the sweets in a place far from the eyes, so we won’t be tempted to eat them when walking from a place to another.
Ramadan Karim Again!