Fasting during the month of Ramadan is an important part of the lives of many around the World. How does this relationship change for cancer patients? Our experts put together these suggestions for cancer patients and survivors.
If cancer patients go hungry and / or dehydrated for a long time, it may cause fatigue, decrease in body’s strength and increase in side effects related to treatment compared to other healthy people. Fasting and dehydration can even result in kidney failure and abnormal clotting, leading to dangerous consequences.
For this reason, it is very important for patients whose cancer treatment continues actively to eat regularly and sufficiently without skipping meals, to sleep well, and to drink enough fluids. We do not recommend fasting for patients who are actively undergoing cancer treatment. Patients whose cancer treatment have been completed and who feel well overall may be allowed to fast after consulting their physicians.
Here are some points that healthy individuals and cancer survivors, who are approved by their physicians to fast, should pay attention in order to have a healthier fasting period.
- In order to have a healthy fasting process, you should continue to eat adequate and balanced nutrition.
- Take special care to consume fiber-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes to avoid constipation.
- Include yoghurt, ayran (lassi) or kefir on your table for iftar (ftoor) and sahur (suhoor). The beneficial bacteria will help you regulate your bowel movements.
- Avoid sugary and carbonated drinks. Carbonated beverage consumption after long-term fasting causes bloating.
- Avoid saturated fats and excessive salt consumption by choosing healthy cooking methods. Instead of frying and roasting, try cooking techniques such as baking, steaming, and grilling.
- Use your soup choices for legumes and vegetable soups. Avoid overly fatty, creamy soups.
- Make sure to drink at least 2 liters of water a day.
- Consume plenty of fresh salads during iftar and sahur.
- When consuming pita, remember that a handful of pita is equivalent to a slice of bread.
- Complex carbohydrates take longer to be digested, allowing you to stay full longer. Therefore, instead of rice pilaf, choose bulgur pilaf, and instead of white bread and pita choose whole wheat pita or whole grain bread.
- Tea and coffee consumption causes dehydration. Therefore, consume tea and coffee in moderation after iftar, and try not to consume tea and coffee during sahur.
- If you can, take a walk after iftar as we tend to consume a large meal at iftar.