Top 10 Iftar Foods to Impact Your Diet Less

Tucking into a delicious iftar buffet? Ahlan! Live investigates what foods to fill up on and what to avoid
Monday , 17 September 2007
Top 10 Iftar Foods to Impact Your Diet Less

Despite what you may think, fasting could expand your waistline. When your body feels hunger it automatically stores fat, and then eating late at night when you're hungry can encourage you to eat more than you need while the body is in a resting state when it will store rather than burn accumulated calories.

To avoid a Ramadan bloat, start each iftar with sunnah (the traditional Arabic way to break the fast), a combination of dates and water. Not only are dates delicious,they're also rich in iron and potassium. Allow a little time before you move to your next course and avoid the bread basket at all costs - Arabic flatbread may be tasty, but the high wheat content could leave you feeling bloated and lethargic. When moving on to your main course at the buffet, never be tempted to overfill your plate - eat slowly, savouring every bite. Ramadan is not a time for excess. Learn to appreciate every mouthful and this lesson that will be as good for your soul as it is for your waist measurement.

Here Ahlan! Live's lists some of the top iftar foods, plus their calorie and fat content, so you can break your fast gently and replenish your body with nutritious dishes...

1. Fattoush
This garden salad made with tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce contains some low-cal disease-fighting ingredients, but it's sweet pomegranate dressing makes it high in sugars and the deep-fried pita bread croutons are high in fats. One to have in moderation, salad-lovers.
1 Serving = 216 Cals
Total Fat: 14g

2. Tabbouleh
This light and tasty salad dressed with fresh lemon juice is made of little bit of bulgar wheat and lots of power-green parsley, which is full of nutritional benefits. Parsley contains three times more vitamin C than an orange and is exceptionally rich in potassium and iron. Fill up on this!
28g Serving = 31 Cals
Total Fat: 1.1g

3. Hummus
This delicious dip made with chickpeas, garlic and lemon is packed with fibre and high in both protein and iron, but it's also mixed with lashings of olive oil, so a small scoop should be your limit.
50g Serving = 150 Cals
Total Fat: 9.8g

4. Moutabel
This spicy aubergine dip is low in calories and rich in antioxidants. Aubergines are also a great source of vitamin B, folate and magnesium. This dish gets the green light.
1 Serving = 16 Cals
Total Fat: 0.6g

5. Stuffed vine leaves
Go easy on the vine leaves. They may be relatively low in calories, but they are stuffed with white rice - a refined carb known to help you pile on the kilos.
1 Roll = 67 Cals
Total Fat: 1.7g

6. Lamb shawarma
This calorie-laden meat sandwich is probably one of the biggest diet-breakers to indulge in when it comes to Arabic food, so steer clear or split one with a friend.
1 Portion = 373 Cals
Total Fat: 36g

7. Falafel
They may be tasty, but these deep-fried balls are not kind to your waistline. They are drenched in hydrogenated vegetable oil which has no nutritional benefits, but the good news is that they are made from fava beans, which are rich in vitamin B and a good source of complex carbohydrates.
1 Falafel = 57 Cals
Total Fat: 3g

8. Baklava
Made of filo pastry, sugar, butter and honey, we don't need to tell you baklava is high in calories and fat with little nutritional value, so look away and get another plate of tabbouleh!
70g Serving = 320 Cals
Total Fat: 24g

9. Olives
A great source of vitamin E, these nibbles are also rich in monosaturated fatty acids, so nibble away to your heart's content.
4 Green Olives = 18 Cals
Total Fat: 2g

10. Lamb kofta
While lamb is an important source of protein and B group vitamins, it is also high in fat and calories, so only have a small helping.
400g Serving = 507 Cals
Total Fat: 32.5g