Opportunity to rewrite food habits for Ramadhan

While temperatures have been hitting 40 and 45 degrees Celsius in some parts of the Sultanate, Ramadhan this year is expected to pass through a comparatively milder summer.

“For the latter part of the last decade, Ramadhan has been during the peak summer months of June and July with longer fasting hours. It used to be very difficult, especially for children elderly and those with diabetes. This year, we do not have dehydration related issues,” said Ahmed Mustafa, a Pakistani expatriate who has been marking Ramadhan in Oman for over 30 years.

“This year, we are eating less because of the restrictions on social gatherings for Iftar due to Covid-19. We are preparing food in far less quantity due to ‘stay at home’ and consequently also eating less. I think it also takes care of some health issues such as acidity, sugar, and cholesterol levels, which are directly related to food consumption,” he added.

Safia, an Indian homemaker said, “During Iftar get-togethers, we cannot do way from preparing food that has very high oil, salt and sugar contents. We are disappointed with the Iftar in lockdown, but it is also an opportunity for a healthy Ramadhan, which can be also followed in the coming years.”

According to health and nutrition experts, overeating can have adverse and minor health problems.

Despite the mild summer, it is important to stay hydrated by managing the diet and water intake after fasting levels.

“Balancing the salt intake is important because it will regulate the thirst during the fasting hours,” said Norah, a dietician with a public healthcare clinic.

She also said to avoid coffee, tea, packed juices, and instead, focus fruits and fresh juices.

Mohammed Balsuhi, a taxi operator from Quiryat, said this Ramadhan is truly different.

“All these years, I used to work in the government sector, take a break in the afternoon and operate a taxi after prayers till midnight. This year, taxis are not allowed to operate and my department wants me to attend office only every alternative hours. So always at home which can be also frustrating sometimes. I have been consulting a doctor because as a diabetic I also want to manage diet.”