Returning to normal eating after Ramadan

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An expert at Mubadala Health’s Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) offers tips on returning to normal eating after fasting  

Dr. Farhana Bin Lootah, an Internal Medical Consultant at ICLDC

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: According to Dr Farhana Bin Lootah, an internal medicine specialist at Mubadala Health’s Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), it is important for everyone who fasts, especially for patients with diabetes, to reintroduce foods in a controlled and disciplined manner once Ramadan is over.

“Returning to a normal diet after Ramadan may be a shock to your body and could trigger undesirable side effects if not managed properly,” she says. “Fasting leads to several changes in your body; for example, digestive enzyme production is reduced, and the protective layer of your stomach may be temporarily diminished. which can lead to irritation if your stomach becomes overburdened.”

Dr Farhana stresses that your body will need time to readjust to normal digestion and metabolism. “If you overload your digestive system by overindulging post-Ramadan, you risk experiencing discomfort such as stomach cramping, heartburn and nausea,” she points out. To avoid this, Dr Farhana advises starting with small meals and chewing foods slowly to encourage proper digestion. “Practise the 80/20 rule: that is, eat slowly and only until you feel 80% full. By eating slowly, you are allowing your brain to register the food in your stomach which in turn leads to increased satiety levels and prevents over-consumption of food.”

She says it is also a good idea to include digestive-enhancing foods in your diet, such as probiotics, prebiotics and plain yoghurt to help replenish the good bacteria in the gut.

As many people choose to continue fasting for six days of Shawwal after Eid, she advises them to continue with the healthy eating tips they practised during Ramadan.

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About Mubadala Health:

Mubadala Health is the integrated healthcare network of Mubadala Investment Company. Established 2021, Mubadala Health operates, manages, and develops a portfolio of healthcare assets including: Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre (ADTC), Amana Healthcare, Capital Health Screening Centre (CHSC), Healthpoint, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), and National Reference Laboratory (NRL). In addition, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is an integral part of Mubadala Health. With a vision to transform the regional healthcare landscape, Mubadala Health sets a new benchmark for the UAE and regional healthcare industry through its state-of-the-art facilities and world-class caregivers who strive to put patients first across its continuum of care. Innovation, research, and education are the foundational pillars of Mubadala Health, supporting the further development of a sustainable healthcare sector in line with the vision of Abu Dhabi and the region.

Mubadala Health is on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn with the handle: @mubadalahealth.

About Imperial College London Diabetes Centre:

Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), a Mubadala Health partner, is a state-of-the-art outpatient facility that specialises in diabetes treatment, research, training and public health awareness. In just over a decade, the Centre has gained international renown for its holistic approach to the treatment of diabetes and related complications that enables patients to receive the full spectrum of care they need in one place.

With more than 80 diabetes professionals and endocrinologists under one roof, ICLDC offers best-in-class medical attention from first diagnosis to disease management across 11 specialist practice areas including adult and paediatric endocrinology, treatment of metabolic and electrolyte disorders, pre- and post-bariatric surgery care, heart disease prevention, nutritional advice, diabetes education services, ophthalmology, nephrology and podiatry.

ICLDC was established in 2006 in Abu Dhabi by Mubadala in partnership with the UK’s Imperial College London to address the growing demand for diabetes care in the UAE. The centre now operates three branches across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, touching the lives of more than one million people through patient-centric programmes and public health initiatives. In 2007, ICLDC launched Diabetes. Knowledge. Action, now the longest running public health awareness campaign in the country. The initiative promotes an active lifestyle through an ongoing calendar of events for the whole community – Major activations include an annual walkathon that coincides with the World Diabetes Day in November.

ICLDC holds the Joint Commission International (JCI) Clinical Care Program Certification in Outpatient Diabetes Management and JCI Accreditation for Ambulatory Care.