Complex carbohydrates are foods that will help release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting. Complex carbohydrates are found in grains and seeds, like barley, wheat, oats, millets, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, basmati rice, etc.
Fibre-rich foods are also digested slowly and include bran, cereals, whole wheat, grains and seeds, potatoes with the skin, vegetables such as green beans and almost all fruit, including apricots, prunes, figs, etc.
Foods to avoid:
1.Deep-fried foods, eg pakoras, samosas, fried dumplings.
2.High-sugar/high-fat foods, eg Indian sweets such as Ghulab Jamun, Rasgulla, Balushahi, Baklawa.
3.High-fat cooked foods, eg parathas, oily curries, greasy pastries.
1.Whole grains, eg chickpeas (plain, or with potato in yogurt with different Indian spices), samosas baked instead of fried, and boiled dumplings.
2.Milk-based sweets and puddings, eg Rasmalai, Barfee.
3.Alternate with chapattis made without oil, and baked or grilled meat and chicken. Try to make pastry at home and use a single layer.
Cooking methods to avoid:
3.Curries with excessive oil.
Alternative cooking methods:
1.Shallow frying – usually there is very little difference in taste.
2.Grilling or baking is healthier and helps retain the taste and original flavour of the food, especially chicken and fish.
3.Start with measuring the oil used in curry and try to bring the oil content down gradually, eg reducing five tablespoons to four. This is a good
way of reducing oil without noticing much difference in the taste. A useful tip is to use more onions and tomatoes in the bulk of the curry.
Foods to Avoid:
Foods to avoid are the heavily-processed, fast-burning foods that contain refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar, white flour, etc., as well as, of course, too much fatty food (eg cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets, such as Indian Mithai). It may also be worth avoiding the caffeine content in drinks such as tea, coffee and cola. (Caffeine is a diuretic and stimulates faster water loss through urination.)