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Stay healthy over Ramadan

Press Release   •   Jul 08, 2013 15:49 BST

Muslim residents in the borough are being advised to stay healthy during fasting over the period of Ramadan this month.

Fasting is expected to start in the UK on 9 July for one lunar month, therefore patients on regular medication or those who suffer from long-term illnesses such as diabetes are being urged to take extra care and maintain a healthy lifestyle during this time.

Dr Kiran Patel, Chair and Clinical Lead at NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The way to approach your diet during fasting is similar to the way you should be eating outside of Ramadan. To prevent muscle breakdown, meals must contain enough energy food, such as carbohydrates and some fat.

“We want to support people in observing their faith so it is important that we give them advice that has been approved both medically and from a religious point of view.”

Patients who suffer from any chronic illness or health complications must consult their GP before fasting to see if they can do so safely during Ramadan.

Following a well-balanced diet during fasting can also be good for your health as it is a great opportunity to lose weight and become healthier or to quit some bad habits like smoking.

Dr Peter Elton, Director of Public Health, said: "It is important that people who have health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, consult their doctor before fasting and not put themselves in any danger.

"Some Muslims may need help to abstain from cigarettes during the long summer days of Ramadan. Why not go the whole way and give up smoking completely? It's easier if you can stop smoking at the same time as your friends and family. Help is available locally for all who want to quit, from the Bury Stop Smoking Service on 0845 223 9001.”

Tips for healthy fasting:

·  Eat a well-balanced diet, including nutrients from all food groups

·  Avoid fried foods or those containing too much sugar

·  Increase fluid intake during non-fasting hours to avoid dehydration

·  Avoid over eating when breaking your fast

·  Choose healthy cooking methods

·  Eat slow-digesting foods containing grains and seeds

If you have any concerns about you or your family’s health during fasting, please speak to your GP practice.

Alternatively, for more information about healthy fasting, visit www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Healthyramadan.

ENDS

Issued: 8 July 2013.

For further enquiries, contact Nosheen Idrees, Communications and Engagement Officer, on 07795 507462.