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Balanced nutrition – and should stroke sufferers fast?

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Jakarta, IO – In general, fasting refers to refraining from eating or drinking for a certain period, namely, from dawn to dusk. Meanwhile, daily routines continue as usual. So, what should you consume at dawn, to keep your body energized while fasting? 

In a webinar with the theme “Welcoming Ramadan Healthy and Fit” which was held on Saturday (9/3/2024), dr. Nur Aini Djunet, M.Gizi, FINEM, from the Faculty of Medicine University Islam Indonesia (UII) Yogyakarta, said that the human body needs macronutrients (protein-carbohydrate-fats) and micronutrients (vitamins-minerals). Nutrients from food will then be broken down in the body into simple structures, proteins into amino acids, carbohydrates into glucose, and fats into fatty acids. Carbohydrates peak in the blood as sugar 05-1 hour – 0-100% convert to glucose. Protein peaks in the blood as sugar 2-4 hours – 50% converts to glucose. Fat peaks in the blood sugar 8-10 hours – 10% converts to glucose. 

“Glucose enters the Krebs cycle and undergoes oxidative phosphorylation which will form Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and become energy. At dawn, avoid choosing foods that have a high glycemic index, such as bread, pasta, or fruit juice, which can increase blood sugar in just 10 minutes, but immediately decrease. We need foods that raise blood sugar slowly and consistently, for at least 3 hours, such as lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Lean protein comes from chickpeas, barley, and almonds, while fiber comes from fruit and vegetables,” dr. Nur stated. 

Energy intake correlates with energy output. Use a hand size guide: one palm for vegetables and fruit; one fist for meat and non-meat proteins; ½ palm for rice or other carbohydrates. “You can also use ½ plate of vegetables and fruit; ¼ plate of protein; ¼ plate of carbohydrates. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day: 4 glasses before dawn, 4 glasses between sunset and Isha, and 2 more glasses after tarawih or before bed. In order to avoid frequent peeing, you should drink electrolyte fluids that contain vitamins and minerals. Drinking coffee, which is a diuretic at dawn stimulates urination which in turn triggers dehydration,” she warned. 

dr. Lilir Amalini, Sp.N
dr. Lilir Amalini, Sp.N (Source: BRAWIJAYA HOSPITAL)

Recognize Stroke Symptoms 

There is a lot of evidence of the benefits of fasting on health, one of which is reducing the risk of stroke. So, what if a stroke patient wants to fast? 

According to dr. Lilir Amalini, Sp.N, from the Department of Communication, Social Media and Community Education of the Indonesian Neurological Association (Perdosni), it is safe for stroke patients to fast if their condition is stable, and their blood pressure and blood sugar are controlled. “It is best for stroke patients to consult a doctor. Stroke patients can fast if their condition is controlled. Stroke patients should not fast if they are in the acute stroke phase, their blood pressure fluctuates and their heart rate is irregular,” she answered in the talk show “Is it Safe for Stroke Patients to Fast?” which was held on Tuesday (19/3/2024). 

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The neurologist from Brawijaya Hospital Saharjo, Jakarta explained that recognizing the symptoms of stroke and immediately taking the patient to the doctor can reduce the risk of disability. “30% of stroke patients can recover completely as long as they are immediately taken to the doctor. Recognize the symptoms in the form of an asymmetrical smile, weakness or feeling numb in one side of the body, nearsightedness (sightedness, shadows), or severe headaches. Stroke patients are getting younger everywhere, related to lifestyle habits in the form of smoking habits, drinking alcohol, hypertension, high blood sugar and cholesterol,” she warned. (est)

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