Reduce coffee intake, drink more water, and eat smart as Yom Kippur fast approaches

By
September 10, 2013 17:26

For those intending to fast over Yom Kippur, a little bit of preparation could go a long way for a successful fast.

2 minute read.



Drinking water helps stave off dehydration.

woman drinks water 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

If you drink a lot of coffee and intend to fast for 25 hours on Yom Kippur between Friday eve through Saturday night, you are advised to cut down gradually on your consumption of the caffeine-laden drink during the next three days.

A sudden halt to coffee drinking – or to heavy consumption of cola, tea and chocolate – can cause headaches that will interfere with the fast, experts say.

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Instead of drinking coffee, drink a lot of cold water – around 10 glasses daily.

The expected heat wave during Yom Kippur will mean people at risk will have to be especially careful when they fast.

According to dietitians at Laniado Medical Center in Netanya, on the days leading up to the fast, one should eat whole grains, rice, bread, sweet potato, pasta, beans, potatoes and other carbohydrates to fill up on these nutrients as your stored glycogen in the liver and muscles and your triglycerides run low.

Eat smaller meals on Friday before the final meal. For that, on Friday afternoon, eat food with complex carbohydrates that release sugar slowly, such as whole grains, avocado, olive oil, tehina and nuts, and proteins such as meat, chicken and fish. Spicy, salty foods should be avoided, as should sweet, carbonated drinks and alcohol.

Don’t overeat very close to the beginning of the fast, as this will cause your stomach to be distended and painful – and may even cause vomiting. The final meal should be consumed no less than 40 minutes before the beginning of the fast.

People with chronic diseases and pregnant women should consult their doctor about fasting, drinking only water, and taking medications.

Insulin-dependent diabetics must not stop taking insulin; ask your doctor if you can fast.

Break the fast with tea or juice and cookies, crackers or a piece of cake. Drink a lot of water, but gradually, to restore moisture in the body.

An hour later, one can sit down to a more substantial dinner.

Prof. Yehezkel Weisman of the urgent care unit at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva said children are at risk of accidents when they play, ride bicycles and use skateboards, rollerblades and skates in the usually empty streets.

The number of such accidents increases every year, he added. Doing so at night is especially risky.

Children must be supervised and should preferably ride on sidewalks, wearing helmets, knee and elbow protectors and other equipment.

Magen David Adom will be on high alert during the fast. Every year, it treats more than 200 children injured during Yom Kippur. In addition, some 500 people who suffer heart attacks, heat prostration and other ills need help from intensive care units and ambulances, and an additional 100 people, on average, faint.


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