Diet for Ramadan for good energy levels and better health.

For Diabetics:   
        Diabetics should first understand that they have to decide according to the type of diabetes and the average fasting blood sugar levels, weather to do ramadan fasting or not. Also the risks involved should be known. So read this page(click here) before reading about the diet below. 
             In view of the long hours of fasting, we should consume slow digesting foods including fibre containing-foods rather than fast-digesting foods. Slow digesting foods last up to 8 hours, while fast-digesting foods last for only 3 to 4 hours.


According to the American Council on Exercise, when you eat foods that digest slowly, you help keep your body's blood sugar levels steady. Eating too many fast-digesting carbs -- such as white rice or pasta -- can cause your body to release too much sugar into your bloodstream at one time.  A diet rich in complex carbohydrates and proteins can help slow down digestion.

Slow-digesting foods are foods that contain grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, unpolished rice, etc. (called complex carbohydrates). Fast-burning foods are foods that contain sugar, white flour, etc. (called refined carbohydrates).
Foods with large amounts of complex carbohydrates include legumes, starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn, rice and grain products. Other vegetables such as green beans, broccoli and spinach contain less starch, but they have more fiber.

Complex carbohydrates should supply about half the calories in your diet; however, the best complex carbohydrates come from legumes, vegetables, breads, pasta and cereals. Choose 100-percent whole wheat or 100-percent whole grain brad cereal and pasta products over refined flour products because they contain more fiber. The extra fiber slows down the absorption of the carbohydrates

Fibre-containing foods are bran-containing foods, whole wheat, grains and seeds, vegetables like green beans, peas, sem (papry), marrow, mealies, spinach, and other herbs like methie, the leaves of beetroot (iron-rich), fruit with skin, dried fruit especially dried apricots, figs and prunes, almonds, 

Date (Khajoor) is a good source of simple carbohydrate and so provides energy quickly. it is not a good source of complex carbohydrates.


Proteins are essential for the growth and rebuilding of body tissue, such as muscle mass. It is also needed for healthy hair and nails. Protein requires more energy to process and takes longer to digest. One of the slowest digesting proteins found in nature is casein. Milk is about 80 percent casein whereas whey protein is only about 20 percent. Casein has a time-release effect, which means it is digested much more slowly by your body than other types of protein. Good sources include cottage cheese, cheese, milk and casein protein powder. Try to get one serving of protein at every meal.


Oatmeal is another food that should be included in a diet geared towards slow digestion. Oatmeal contains fiber, which is not digested by your body. Instead fiber acts as a buffer that helps slow down the release of simple sugars into your bloodstream. Oatmeal can also help lower bad cholesterol, or LDL. Slower digestion is a result. Fiber also helps you stay full longer, which can prevent you from eating more calories than you should. Gannet Health Services recommends that you get anywhere from 21 to 38 grams of fiber, depending on your age and gender. Try getting 2 to 3 servings of oatmeal daily for added fiber and to help keep digestion of other simple sugars regulated.

Whole Grains

Whole-grain foods also have a slowing effect on digestion because of their high-fiber content. Unlike oatmeal, most whole grains contain gluten, which is a type of protein that gives most carbohydrates their sticky structure. If you are allergic to gluten, try eating gluten-free alternatives. Look for products that are labeled "whole grain" or "whole wheat," as these are complete and complex carbohydrates with the most fiber. Whole-grain breads, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and whole-wheat bagels can all help promote slow digestion.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits with edible skin such as apples and pears have the highest amount of fiber. The skin is where most of the fiber content lies, so it's best not to peel them before you eat them. Most vegetables are considered complex carbohydrates and contain large amounts of fiber, which digests slowly in your stomach. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you should aim to consume 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily and 1 to 2 cups of fruit daily.

Read more:


(approx. time spent in stomach before emptying). ........ 
when stomach is empty, leaves immediately and goes into intestines, 
Fruit vegetables, vegetable broth - 15 to 20 minutes. 
(blended salad, vegetables or fruits) - 20 to 30 min. 


Watermelon - 20 min.digestion time. 
Other melons - Canteloupe, Cranshaw, Honeydew etc. - 30 min. 
Oranges, grapefruit, grapes - 30 min. 
Apples, pears, peaches, cherries etc. - digest in 40 min. 


Raw tossed salad vegetables - tomato, lettuces, cucumber, celery, red or green pepper, other succulent vegetables - 30 to 40 min. digestion. - 
Steamed or cooked vegetables 
Leafy vegetables - escarole, spinach, kale, collards etc. - 40 min. - Zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, string beans, yellow squash, corn on cob - all 45 min. digestion time 
Root vegetables - carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips etc. - 50 min. 
Semi-Concentrated Carbohydrates - Starches 
Jerusalem artichokes & leafy, acorn & butternut squashes, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, chestnuts - all 60 min. digestion. 

Concentrated Carbohydrates - Grains 

Brown rice, millet, buckwheat, cornmeal, oats (first 3 vegetables best) - 90 min. 
Legumes & Beans - (Concentrated Carbohydrate & Protein) 
Lentils, limas, chick peas, peas, pigeon peas, kidney beans, etc. - 90 min. digestion time 
soy beans -120 min. digestion time 
Seeds & Nuts 
Seeds - Sunflower, pumpkin, pepita, sesame - Digestive time approx. 2 hours. 
Nuts - Almonds, filberts, peanuts (raw), cashews, brazil, walnuts, pecans etc. - 2  1/2 to 3 hours to digest. 


Skim milk, cottage or low fat pot cheese or ricotta - approx. 90 min. digestion time 
whole milk cottage cheese - 120 min. digestion 
whole milk hard cheese - 4 to 5 hours digestion time 

Hard cheese images:

Animal proteins 

Egg yolk - 30 min. digestion time 
Whole egg - 45 min. 
Fish - cod, scrod, flounder, sole seafood - 30 min. digestion time 
Fish - salmon, salmon trout, herring, (more fatty fish) - 45 min. to 60 digestion time 
Chicken - 1  1/2 to 2 hours digestion time (without skin) 
Turkey - 2 to 2   1/4 hours digestion time (without skin) 
Beef, lamb - 3 to 4 hours digestion time 

 Diet according to sunnah

According to Sunnah (the practices of Prophet Muhammad, Pbuh) and research findings referred in this report, a dietary plan is given:

1. Bread/Cereal/Rice, Pasta, Biscuits and Cracker Group: 6-11 servings/day;
2. Meat/Beans/ Nut Group: 2-3 servings/day.
3. Milk and Milk Product Group: 2-3 servings/day.
4. Vegetable Group: 3-5 servings/day;
5. Fruit Group: 2-4 servings/day.
6. Added sugar (table sugar, sucrose): sparingly.
7. Added fat, polyunsaturated oil 4-7 table spoons.

During Ramadan increased gastric acidity is often noticed, Iraki, et al. (5), exhibiting itself with symptoms such as a burning feeling in the stomach, a heaviness in the stomach, and a sour mouth. Whole wheat bread, vegetables, humus, beans, and fruits -- excellent sources of dietary fiber -- trigger muscular action, churning and mixing food, breaking food into small particles, binding bile acids, opening the area between the stomach and the deudenum-jejunum and moving digesta in the small intestine, Kay (11). Thus, dietary fiber helps reduce gastric acidity and excess bile acids, Rydning et al. (12). In view of dietary fiber's role in moving digesta, it prevents constipation. It's strongly suggested that peptic ulcer patients avoid spicy foods and consult a doctor for appropriate medicine and diet. Diabetic subjects, particularly severe type I (insulin dependent) or type II (non-insulin dependent), must consult their doctor for the type and dosage of medicine, and diet and precautions to be taken during the month.

Further suggestions:

    1. Drink sufficient water between Iftar and sleep to avoid dehydration.
    2. Consume sufficient vegetables at meal s. Eat fruits at the end of the meal.
    3. Avoid intake of high sugar (table sugar, sucrose) foods through sweets or other forms.
    4. Avoid spicy foods.
    5. Avoid caffeine drinks such as coke, coffee or tea. Caffeine is a diuretic. Three days to five days before Ramadan gradually reduce the intake of these drinks. A sudden decrease in caffeine prompts headaches, mood swings and irritability.

Smoking is a health risk factor. Avoid smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadan. Smoking negatively affects utilization of various vitamins, metabolites and enzyme systems in the body.

You may also read:

Scientific article on Diet during Ramadan: a detailed article by a senior Nutritionist Mohammad Zafar A. Nomani, PhD, RD, Professor of Nutrition, West Virginia University,USA

Healthy Ramadan- all aspects covered - a useful site of NHS, UK