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The Ketogenic Diet: Evidence for Optimism but High-Quality Research Needed

The author of the article says that “Based on available evidence, a well-formulated ketogenic diet does not appear to have major safety concerns for the general public and can be considered a first-line approach for obesity and diabetes.

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January 10, 2023
Deepa Nair
Deepa Nair, Nutrition
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Meal Frequency and Timing Are Associated with Changes in Body Mass Index in Adventist Health

Scientific evidence for the optimal number, timing, and size of meals is lacking. The authors of this study investigated the relation between meal frequency and timing and changes in body mass index (BMI). Their results suggest that in relatively healthy adults, eating less frequently, no snacking, consuming breakfast, and eating the largest meal in the morning may be effective methods for preventing long-term weight gain. Eating breakfast and lunch 5–6 h apart and making the overnight fast last 18–19 h may be a useful practical strategy.

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January 10, 2023
Maria Rubatti
Maria Rubatti, Nutrition
Food
Foods you should follow and avoid during Ramadan

This time, Ramadan falls during the peak of the summer. And long hours of fasting can drain the stored energy. So, eating the right food is the key to keep your body energetic for the entire day. Here is a list of foods you should follow and avoid during the holy month of Ramadan. Suhoor Foods that you eat during Suhoor shouldn’t be heavy but it should be nutrient-packed. What to eat? High-Quality Protein It is very essential to eat protein-rich food in Suhoor. Eggs are rich in protein and are much lighter than meat. Fibre Your body needs foods which are rich in fibre during Suhoor. Oatmeal is a perfect fibre, it turns into a gel in the stomach and takes time to digest, ultimately keeping you fuller and energetic for the rest of the day. While it also helps in lowering cholesterol and blood glucose in your body. Calcium and vitamin Consume dairy products such as yogurt smoothie, vanilla shakes, etc. They will keep you hydrated throughout the day. What not to eat? Carbohydrates Refined carbohydrates such as white flour, donuts, pastries, waffles, etc. last only for 3-4 hours and contain fewer nutrients. Salty food Avoid salty foods such as they will make you more thirsty while fasting. Caffeinated drinks Caffeinated drinks dehydrate your body. It also makes you restless and leads to insomnia. Iftar Iftar is as important as Suhoor. While one should be very careful while breaking the fast as it is the meal that will help in replenishing your energy levels. Therefore, pay careful attention to what types of food to consume. What to eat? Potassium Dates, Dark leafy vegetables, beans, squash, potatoes, avocados, yogurt, and bananas, mushrooms, have high potassium contain. These will help in maintaining the fluid and electrolyte in your body. Sufficient fluids Drinking a sufficient amount of water or shakes, a smoothie will help in staying hydrated. Raw nuts Our body craves for fats after long hours of fasting. Raw nuts like Almonds are must for Iftar, as it contains good fats. Hydrating vegetables Vegetables such as lettuce, cucumbers, have good hydrating properties. It helps the body to stay cool and helps in constipation. What not to eat? Carbonated drinks Stay away from carbonated drinks or other processed beverages. Instead, opt for fresh juice. High-sugar foods The best choice is to avoid high-sugar food items. If consumed regularly, they are an instant weight gainer. Fried-foods Avoid deep fried food items. They are the source of unhealthy cholesterol and will make you feel thirsty. Cultivate these good dietary habits and by the end of Ramadan, you will feel much healthier.

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May 14, 2019
Niels Peter Noor
Consultant Urologist
Food
Healthy Food Tips To Stay Energetic During Ramadan

Ramadan is the perfect month to refocus on our health and adopt healthier diet & lifestyle habits. As fasting has been found to promote cleansing of toxins in the body, these healthier habits can help further encourage the detoxing of the body. However, Ramadan fasting can come along with risk of dehydration, indigestion and lethargy, if not done in the appropriate manner.  Follow these simple yet effective tips in order to keep your body energized and healthy during the Holy Month. Value your Suhoor Breakfast is always the most important meal of the day. Especially during Ramadan, one should never skip Suhoor. Your body relies on this meal to provide the required energy until Iftar. By having a proper Suhour, for example oatmeal and dates, you will feel more hydrated and energized throughout the day. As a result, this will help you avoid overeating for Iftar, which in turn keeps your digestion, weight and energy levels balanced. Break your fast slowly With long hours of fasting, one can easily indulge in overeating while breaking fast during Iftar. Excessive consumption of food may result in unhealthy weight gain and digestive issues. By breaking your fast slowly with dates, warm water, and a bowl of soup, it makes it easier to keep those temptations in control. Allow some time gap before eating your main meal, so that you give time for your body to digest. Make sure you enjoy a balanced and rich meal with cooked grains, vegetables and a light source of protein (fish, beans, lentils, chickpeas) – this will result in an energized, rather than a lethargic you! Make soups a staple dish Soups are easy to make and it is very soothing for the stomach. Make soups from vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, pumpkins, spinach, zucchini, etc. They provide the body with enough fluids and vitamins. You can also add herbs. Enjoy a bowl of soup as you break your fast, or even as a snack or Suhour! Opt for healthier method of cooking Oily and fried foods can cause you gastrointestinal discomfort and lead to indigestion and toxin buildup. Choose dishes which are cooked with little oil, and grill or bake your foods rather than frying for healthier alternatives. Add herbs and spices to flavor your dishes, rather than using processed condiments and a large amount of salt. Take care of your sleep It is common for days and nights to be switched during this month, which leads to sleep cycles getting disrupted and more food to be consumed. Poor sleep contributes to weight gain and exhaustion, not only throughout Ramadan but also in the weeks following it. For this reason, it is important to be wary of the quantity and quality of hours slept. Try to be in bed by 10-11 pm on most days to allow for restful and regenerative sleep, this will help you be more energetic and efficient throughout your fast. Sleeping well will also make it easier to have your Suhour meal early morning, helping you avoid any sleep deprivation.  

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May 14, 2019
Farah Yasin
Diet & Lifestyle Specialist
Food
Vitamin D Deficiency In UAE

Over 90 percent of the UAE population is Vitamin D-deficient and the food industry is now being asked to fortify juices, milk and other dairy products with the vitamin. Following the two-year ongoing Vitamin D study being conducted in collaboration with Professor Michael Holick, an American endocrinologist and celebrated authority on Vitamin D deficiency, the DHA has now started a 22-week food education program in nurseries to train parents on how to provide balanced nutrition to their children. Alerting to the dangers of Vitamin D deficiency, “Vitamin D deficiency is a major health issue around the world and adults require to have 2,000 units of Vitamin D per day. Pregnant women who have a Vitamin D deficiency have a higher risk of pre-eclampsia and premature delivery. Studies also indicate that women born to Vitamin D-deficient women can suffer from conditions such as schizophrenia, asthma and some forms of developmental disorders. Children from the age of one year up to their teenage years require 600-1,000 units of Vitamin D per day. If a person is obese, he or she requires two to three times the stipulated amount of Vitamin D. “It is also indicated that if a child is deficient in Vitamin D for the first 10 years of life, he or she is likely to suffer from multiple sclerosis and has an 88 percent risk of developing Type I diabetes or 33 percent risk of Type II diabetes.” Making simple changes to one’s lifestyle could help replenish Vitamin D. “In the UAE, absorption of Vitamin D is possible in sunlight only from 10 am to 3 pm. People need to expose nearly 40 percent of their skin, avoid wearing sunscreen and face sunlight for 30 minutes in a day within these hours. Those with lighter skin can do with exposure for just 15 minutes. Having 12 almonds a day can help you replenish your Vitamin D reserves. Those with severe Vitamin D deficiency might require injections or supplements that are also fortified with magnesium as this micronutrient helps in better absorption of Vitamin D.” Vitamin D facts Best time to absorb sun: 10am-3pm 40% of skin surface needs to be exposed to the sun Face sunlight for 30 minutes Lighter-skinned individuals can do a 15-minute sun absorption Eat 12 almonds a day

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March 11, 2019
Nafeesa Alwathaifi
Senior General Practitioner
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