The importance of Suhoor for people with diabetes

04 Apr 2023 04:41pm
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Suhoor, or what is known as the pre-dawn meal is the meal typically eaten at the very last hour before fasting begins for the day.

Spiritually, suhoor is a prophetic tradition of Muhammad s.a.w and is a recommended (sunnah) act as prescribed through his words - ‘’eat suhoor, for in suhoor there is blessing.’’ (narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

In suhoor there is a blessing indeed, and in suhoor there is importance for those with diabetes.

Suhoor is the last meal that a person can have before they embark on the day fast, which lasts around 12 hours on average here in Malaysia.

In diabetes, a threatening condition called hypoglycemia (lower-than-normal blood sugar level) can induce further complications such as fainting, brain death, and so on, both in a short-time and longer-time period.

This is due to various reasons, one being the absence of foods, namely carbohydrates, and their subsequent sugar prolonged fasting (or period of non-eating) in Ramadan may induce a low blood sugar condition called hypoglycemia, which is life-threatening.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia vary ranging from body shaking, sweating profusely, dizziness, and so on.

For this exact reason, people with diabetes need to have their suhoor in the best and most appropriate manner.

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First, the suhoor should be done as late as possible to reduce the time gap of fasting before the iftar (breaking the fast) comes, and thus reduce the tendency of hypoglycemia.

It is narrated from the Prophet that "The people will continue to prosper as long as they hasten to break the fast and delay the Suhoor." (narrated by Bukhari).

Continuing from the above point, having a good quality suhoor will ensure that you will stay fuller longer and have a reduced tendency for hunger.

While this applies to everyone regardless of their medical condition, it’s especially important for people with diabetes as it also reflects the quality of blood sugar control. Ensuring a high amount of fiber and protein, as well as incorporating high-quality carbohydrates from wholemeal sources and incorporating adequate fat will create a quality meal for your suhoor.

Hence, should all the qualities be taken into account and the importance of suhoor recognised and applied, people with diabetes will have an easier time observing their fasting duty without compromising their health and diabetes control.

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This article is written by Diet Ideas Service Manager & Dietitian, Mohd Siddeq Azha Azahari.