The sacred month of Ramadan spreads the valuable message of love and compassion for fellow beings. The Islam religion suggests observing minimalism in everything, especially during the holy month. The yearnings of the palette to taste delicious flavours should be tamed. Consuming food and water should be avoided from subahi until the magrib prayer is done in the evening.
The prophet has asked his followers to observe fasting as there is nothing as extraordinary as it. Has anyone ever thought why people fast during the holy month of Ramadan? It is a sacred observation which redeems and rejuvenates us. It gives us an opportunity to elevate ourselves both physically and spiritually. Fasting also has a humanitarian aspect as it is an opportunity to realize the pangs of hunger. It makes us realize the hunger of others and feel empathetic to the ones who don't have the chance to eat even a single meal a day. Fasting is not just a practice; it is an attitude and a way of life that need to be nurtured. It is a social activity which makes us believe in humanity which is beyond class, caste, gender, race and language barriers.
There is a specific method in which the fast is broken in the evening. As per the rules, one has to break the fast by drinking plain water. The digestive system should be activated by having one or two dates. This helps regulate the functioning of the stomach and the intestines. Heavy meal should be consumed only after a while. The faith doesn't advice eating uncontrollably after breaking the fast, just because the believers have abstained from eating or drinking during the entire day. The prophet instructs to fill two thirds of the stomach with food, another two thirds with water and leave the rest empty.
Children and patients aren’t strictly advised to observe fasting. The blood sugar levels in diabetes patients who fast could severely increase or decrease. It could even result in extreme dehydration. They should consult the doctor at least three weeks before commencing the fast and seek medical advice. However, not many would do that.
The amount of insulin used by a diabetic patient has to be regulated during the month of Ramadan. This should be done only after consulting a specialist doctor.
Over eating while breaking the fast and early in the morning before beginning it should be strictly avoided. The usual dishes could be included in the menu if consumed in moderate quantities.
For mid meal, dishes rich in carbohydrates like chapathi or bread should be included. Lentils and vegetable korma would be the best accompanying dishes. Though protein too is important, it is better to avoid beef. The mid meal should be eaten right before the sun rise. White rice should be avoided; instead matta rice could be consumed. Vegetable juice is better than fruit juices. Elaborate meals should be avoided for iftar as the blood sugar level would shoot up after it. Try to control the intake of sweet as well. Drink lots of water when you are not fasting. It replenishes the body during the day while fasting. Do not break the fast by drinking lemon water or orange juice which is sour. It is better to have two or three small meals when you are not fasting. It helps control the blood sugar levels.
The number of dates or elaeocarpus serratus (karaka) should be limited while breaking the fast. Food must be eaten slowly as it helps avoid indigestion and regulates the blood sugar level.
Regular blood tests should be done during the month of Ramadan. The blood sugar level shouldn’t go below 70 milligrams. Neither should it shoot beyond 250 milligrams. It must be noted that people with type 1 diabetes face a greater risk than patients with type 2 diabetes.