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What to eat for Iftar

  • Published at 04:01 pm May 18th, 2019
Healthy iftar

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After breaking a fast, have you noticed how full you feel almost immediately after you start eating? During a fast, your stomach shrinks. When ending a fast, eating a small portion meal that is nutrient and dense in calories will ensure your stomach stays in a shrunken state. This shrunken state signals your brain to maintain your metabolic rate and keeps it satisfied even if you are feeling hungry.

Here is the fun perk of fasting. You get to eat some “bad” carbs that taste Oh-so-delicious to break the fast. Food with high glycemic index (more than 70), digest faster and thus causes the blood sugar and insulin levels to spike fast (if you are diabetic stick with whole grains low glycemic index carbs).

Eating high glycemic carbs right after fasting, such as water dense fruits (oranges, grapes, watermelon), white rice, white bread, cereals or honey will shut down the katabolic state and make your cells more receptive to absorb proteins and other nutrients.  

MTC (medium-chain triglycerides) oils from coconut, palm kernel, and dairy products are also essential nutrients for a successful first meal after a fast because they contain caproic, caprylic and capric acids that have a unique absorption style.

They go straight to the liver, meaning they are absorbed much faster bypassing the usual fashion of fats being absorbed by intestinal cells, placed inside chylomicrons which transport them to the lymphatic system to be circulated to the liver and adipose tissue throughout the body.

Once in the liver, MCTs can be used for instant energy. Giving your body command to rev up your metabolism and start using fats for fuel energy source. Not to mention MTC oils help you gain mental focus because it’s the preferred fuel source for your brain tissue.

Summary:  Eating oily battered vegetables and rice puffs (muri) is totally fine. Just make sure you fry it in coconut or palm kernel oil. Ideally no more than one cup during iftar.  

Happy Ramadan! 

Azgari Hasin is a Certified Nutritionist and Entrepreneur in the Health and Fitness Industry.