Ramadan sweets and desserts are irresistible! Especially with all the new creations and mixes. Certified personal trainer and nutritionist by IFBA Omar Fouad tells us how to conquer our sweet tooth and gives us a few alternatives to those calorie-packed sweets.
By Mariam Elhamy
Ramadan sweets and desserts are calorie-packed, what’s your advice for those who have a sweet tooth and can’t help it?
When you’re fasting for long hours, your insulin levels are usually very low. Breaking your fast with high sugar foods will cause a major spike in insulin. This will make you feel very dehydrated, because of the huge amount of sugar and carbs you suddenly introduced to your body. control sugar craving
Due to that sense of dehydration, it’ll cause you to consume more and more food when in reality you’re just thirsty. It’s an unending vicious cycle. To avoid all that, you can break your fast with foods that contain fibers and complex carbohydrates.
And If you really want sugary foods, you can definitely have them but try to do it between meals, avoid making it your first meal. You can also always eat sweet healthy snacks or treats.
There is nothing wrong with sugary foods, just make sure you have eaten a healthy balanced meal prior to it so you can avoid overeating. And try your best not to have it every single day. This will help control the amount of sugar you consume.
Tell us how can people control their sugar cravings during Ramadan?
When we’re fasting, the energy levels in our body are usually very low, this makes our body send off signals and orders telling us that we need some sort of sugar-based food. This happens due to the fact that sugars and carbs are the primary sources of energy needed for our body to function.
So, when it’s time to break our fast we usually crave unhealthy sugary foods. A way to avoid that is by eating dates first thing to replenish these cravings. After eating dates we find that we are not craving sugar anymore because our body didn’t actually want the sugar it just needed the energy to continue to function.
Keep in mind that if you break your fast with a high sugar meal, you’ll find that you won’t be able to stop because your body doesn’t need it, all it needs is a healthy meal to replenish the energy lost throughout the day. control sugar craving
This is why I highly recommend dates, they are an amazing source of glucose that helps your body immediately bounce back and has the added advantage of healthy and needed nutrients. It also prevents you from entering that vicious and unending cycle of sugar cravings.
What are some healthy/less calorie-packed alternatives to sweets that people can eat guilt-free?
- Any kind of fruit you like
- Yogurt (You can always add any fruits to it)
- Dark chocolate
- Dates with nuts
- Healthy rice pudding
Here are a couple of healthy and satisfying recipes to try at home.
High Protein Snickers Oatmeal
- 50g oats
- 1 medjool date
- 1tbsp cacao powder
- 150ml plant milk
- 1 piece dark chocolate
- 100g yogurt
- 1 scoop chocolate protein (swap with cocoa)
- 1tbsp peanut butter
3. Transfer to a bowl, add the chocolate and cover the chocolate with the frosting.
Healthy Banana Brownies
- 1 mashed banana
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup (to taste)
- 1/4-1/3 cup gluten-free flour (or regular) (60-80 ml)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (60 ml)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Mix the wet ingredients together(banana, eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup)
2. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined3. Pour into a baking dish lined with parchment paper4. Bake at 180 Celsius degrees (350 in Fahrenheit) for about 10-15 minutes