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“Suhur” The Most Important Meal During Ramadan

“Suhur” The Most Important Meal During Ramadan

Don’t skip Suhur!
•Most people tend to eat only the Iftar meal and skip Suhur, thinking that it leads to an increase in weight or simply because they do not want to wake up early in the morning.
•Suhur acts as the breakfast, which breaks the overnight fast and helps you sustain the next few hours. Don’t skip the meal before dawn!
•Suhur provides 30% of your daily needs of proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, as well as your body needs in energy until the end of the fast.
•Suhur will also supply your body with the essential nutrients and energy needed for concentration while keeping hunger symptoms like headaches, fatigue, sleepiness and restlessness at bay.

What to eat for Suhur in order to feel less hungry during the day?
Slow-digesting foods:
•Slow-digesting foods are foods that will help release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting, making you less hungry.
•Complex carbohydrates and fibers are examples of slow digesting foods that can last up to 8 hours.
•Complex carbohydrates can be found in grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, and beans.
•Fibers can be found as well in potatoes with skin, vegetables such as green beans and almost all fruits, including apricots, prunes and figs.

Fast-digesting foods:
•Fast digesting foods are fast-burning and can last only for 3 to 4 hours.
•Avoid fast digesting foods like refined carbohydrates: foods that contain sugar, white bread, white rice, white pasta …

•Consuming enough protein will keep you feel full until the next meal.
•Good sources of protein include lean meat cuts, skinless chicken, fish, nuts, seeds and legumes like chickpeas and beans.

Recommendations for Suhur:
Have vegetables in order to avoid constipation and to feel full.
-Drink enough water to stay hydrated during the day and have easy digestion.
-Avoid caffeinated beverages (coffee and tea) in order to be able to get back to sleep again and because they have diuretic effect.
-Do not overeat.
-Avoid high sodium foods like sauces, soups, canned meats and condiments, as high sodium can cause greater dehydration and increase thirst during the day.
-Pass up on eating fried foods and heavy oil items that can cause heartburn.
-As a last item, eat 1-2 servings of fruits, like bananas, dates … or 1 cup of fresh juice which contains good sources of sugar that can bring low blood glucose levels to normal levels. Make sure you  don’t add sugar to it!

Some ideas for a Healthy Suhur:
-Halloum sandwich with cucumber in whole grain arabic bread.
-1 cup of 0% fat milk with sugar-free and high-fiber breakfast cereals.
-Fava beans with markouk bread.
-0% fat labneh sandwich with thyme and tomatoes in whole grain baguette with 1-2 tsp of olive oil.
-Boiled eggs with whole grain arabic bread.

Make sure that your Suhur meal contains 3 of the 5 main food groups (Dairies, Starches, Meats, Fruits and Vegetables)!

Christelle Bedrossian
Beirut, Lebanon


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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian