Eat healthy while celebrating Eid al Fitr


Eid al Fitr dinner table

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Rich holiday foods, as we know all too well, often lead to a poor digestion situation once our stomachs decide that we’ve had enough.

The end of Ramadan is no different.

Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of dawn-to-sunset fasting, will end with Eid al Fitr, the three-day “festival of the breaking of the fast,” on Tuesday, July 29. While that first dish you have probably never tasted better, it can be easy to overindulge after a month of strict eating, especially if it’s food packed with salt and saturated fat. Stop it! Eat smart this Eid, while still enjoying your favorite Halal sweet and savory treats.

This week, we bring you several tips to get the most out of your Eid al Fitr dishes while keeping those stomach issues at bay. Check them out!

Spice it up

Late last year, we wrote about the amazing health benefits of using a wide variety of spices in your meals. Not only do spices add flavor with less calories, but they are also rich in antioxidants, serve as pain and stress relievers, and work with our digestive systems. So bulk up your dishes with cinnamon, cloves, mint and garlic.

Go house hopping

Well, only do this if you’re invited by the family. But house hopping, as in stopping at different Eid parties, gives you time to digest and can limit your portion size, while allowing you to try dishes that are popular with Muslims from different countries and heritages. The idea is that hostesses know that people party-hop, so portions are made smaller. Likewise, going from home to home gives you more time to digest and start fresh conversations, which will also limit how much you eat.

Keep cuts of meat lean

When shopping for lamb or chicken, you can cut out calories and unneeded fats by purchasing a leaner meat.

Choose oil, not butter

Yes, we understand that this festival showcases traditional dishes, which as everyone knows means fatty and delicious. But you can make small changes such as swapping butter for oil and grilling instead of frying. These small adjustments make such a big difference to calorie intake and digestion.

Use less sugar and cream

This is the most controversial of all tips because we’re aware that sweets are the star of many Eid festivals around the world. Pakistan even calls it "the festival of sweets." Whether it's a rice pudding dessert or sweetening your tea, using less sugar and cream will keep your glucose in check.