How to revive a healthy lifestyle and keep the Ramadan spirit alive

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A Yemeni cook fried "sambusa", or samosa, during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in Sanaa on May 25, 2018. (AFP / Mohammed Huwais)
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A workers serves a Lebanese Iftar meal at a restaurant in the Babylon Mall in Baghdad, Iraq, on May 26, 2018. (AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE)
Updated 03 June 2018
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How to revive a healthy lifestyle and keep the Ramadan spirit alive

  • Expert opinions on how to maintain a good diet and a healthy body in the holy month
  • Dr. Vivian Mohammad Wahbe, a nutritionist, recommends baking instead of frying food, using whole wheat instead of white flour, low-fat milk and yoghurt, and replaying sugar with natural sweeteners.

JEDDAH: As the holy month of Ramadan is halfway through, Muslim dining tables have been bejeweled with a vast variety of dishes. Along with that comes complaints of gaining weight.

Ramadan must-haves are different in different countries. but they have something in common. As well as delicious, they are also often fried, which causes a lot of trouble. And the most common side-effect of fried food and sugar-loaded drinks is obesity.

Dr. Vivian Mohammad Wahbe, a nutritionist, said: “You can bake things instead of frying them, using whole wheat instead of white flour, low-fat milk and yoghurt. You can replace sugar with natural sweeteners."

She also recommended eating a bigger portion of fresh salad and fruit salad, “as they tend to make the person fell full and have low calories.”

"Consider this month as the beginning, so you control the amount of calorie intake, switching to a healthier lifestyle. Because if you control yourself in Ramadan you can control yourself later.”

RK Fit’s founder and coach Reham Kamal encourages people to exercise whether it is before or after breaking their fast during Ramadan.

“I recommend moving while fasting -- it helps blood flow. I recommend doing light cardio or mid-low intensity exercises an hour before the iftar, because drinking water and replenishing your body with nutrients will aid in recovery, which helps lose fat.” Kamal told Arab News.

“For those doing weight and high-intensity exercises, I recommend they do it two hours after iftar because the body will be well-hydrated and has the fuel to make more effort,” she added.

Another coach, Najm Al-Hashmi, said: “We would advise someone trying to reduce body fat to exercise about half an hour before breaking their fast. They have to eat healthily and well for the glycogen to be restored in the muscle.

“I see that exercising half an hour before iftar is good, but it must be a mid-intensity type of exercise, for example, brisk walking."


San Francisco becomes first major US city to ban e-cigarette sales

This file photo taken on October 02, 2018 shows a man exhaling smoke from an electronic cigarette in Washington, DC on October 2, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 26 June 2019
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San Francisco becomes first major US city to ban e-cigarette sales

  • Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among young people in the country

LOS ANGELES: San Francisco on Tuesday became the first major US city to effectively ban the sale and manufacture of electronic cigarettes.
The city’s legislature unanimously approved an ordinance which backers said was necessary due to the “significant public health consequences” of a “dramatic surge” in vaping among youths.
The ordinance says e-cigarette products sold in shops or online in San Francisco would need approval by federal health authorities, which none currently has.
US health authorities are alarmed by the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes, battery-powered devices which enable users to inhale nicotine liquids that are often fruit flavored.
The number of young Americans using e-cigarettes grew by 1.5 million in 2018, with about 3.6 million middle and high school students using vaping products.
San Francisco is home to market-leading e-cigarette maker Juul.
The city’s mayor London Breed has 10 days to sign the legislation, which she has said she will do.
“We need to take action to protect the health of San Francisco’s youth and prevent the next generation of San Franciscans from becoming addicted to these products,” Breed said in a statement Tuesday ahead of the vote.
She added that e-cigarette companies were “targeting our kids in their advertising and getting them hooked on addictive nicotine products.”
But critics say the legislation will make it harder for people seeking alternatives to regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes do not contain the cancer-causing products found in tobacco.
An editorial in the Los Angeles Times noted that regular cigarettes were still for sale in San Francisco, arguing that “it’s bad public health policy to come down harder on the lesser of two tobacco evils.”
Juul said in a statement Monday that a ban would “not effectively address underage use and will leave cigarettes on shelves as the only choice for adult smokers.”
Concern is growing about the potential health consequences of vaping, which remain largely unknown in part because the practice is so new.
Experts point out that it took decades to determine that smoking tobacco — which accounts for more than seven million premature deaths worldwide every year — is truly dangerous.
Beside the well-known addictive consequences of consuming nicotine, public health experts are focusing on the effect of heating the liquid nicotine cartridges to high temperatures.
The San Francisco ordinance text said that nicotine exposure during adolescence “can harm the developing brain” and “can also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.”
Unlike an e-cigarette ban in force in Singapore, the San Francisco legislation does not restrict the use of vaping products.
Recreational cannabis use has been legal in California for people over the age of 21 since January 1, 2018.