There are few things in life as comforting, delicious yet simple as freshly baked, steaming bread and creamy butter. Come Ramadan, especially after a day of fasting, a pillowy soft loaf of special pide entices even the carb-avert. But as with any other food group, eating more than your share will only lead to discomfort and weight gain.
Mostly made out of white flour, which is refined to remove the bran and germ, Ramadan pides are not the healthiest of choices. You may be thinking that consuming it for a month out of the year won't do much harm, but doctors caution against overeating it.
In fact, dieticians say a piece of pide the size of your palm is equal to about two slices of white bread, or more than 130 calories. Though from a calorie perspective it is similar to that of whole wheat bread, as it lacks fiber and a lot of nutrients, it could almost be considered empty calories.
Nutritionist and Dietary Specialist Hazal Çatırtan Çobanoğlu warns that as the classic Ramadan pide is made of leavened white flour, it has a high glycemic index (GI) and can cause spikes in blood sugar after a long fasting period.
"Most people do not draw boundaries to their consumption of this bread due to hunger. ... But people with insulin resistance, diabetes and weight problems should be more careful," she said.
Çobanoğlu shared three tips to prevent yourself from overeating and be kinder to your digestive system.
Or choose one meal – either iftar or sahur – to eat a bit of Ramadan pide. Do not eat it twice a day. Eating it in the morning at sahur, especially maybe a bad idea as it will cause your blood sugar levels to rise and make you hungrier sooner. Therefore, it may be best reserved for iftar.
If you will be having carbohydrates such as soup, rice and pasta at iftar, Çobanoğlu says it may be best to eat very little of the pide or skip it entirely.
Although eating a lot of carbs at first will make you feel full, it will cause you to become hungry quicker and over time could cause you to gain weight if your diet isn't balanced with proteins and healthy fats.
If you do have the choice, choose pides made of whole wheat or rye flour instead of white to up your fiber intake.
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