Patients with existing heart problems should pay attention to the amount of salt they consume during Ramadan, according to Ghazi Dararkeh, Nutrition Supervisor at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

Dararkeh said:

High salt consumption is a major threat as it leads to high blood pressure and increases thirst. Raised blood pressure can lead to water retention and can also negatively affect heart health.’

He also warned people to show restraint when eating Arabic sweets such as pastries including Ktaev, Kunafa and Ghoriba as they contain large amounts of sugar and fat.

Dararkeh offers the following advice to heart patients during Ramadan:

  • Be aware of eating too much high-fat food which can damage the arteries by depositing harmful low density cholesterol, partially or fully blocking them and causing various types of clots
  • Consume a diet that is healthy for the heart. For example, eat fish instead of red meat because fish does not contain harmful fats. Instead, it contains a healthy fat called Omega 3 which is important for the heart and arteries
  • Use good vegetable oil such as olive oil instead of other fats as they contain Omega fats
  • Eat vegetables and fruit on a daily basis – fresh or cooked – because they contain vitamins and minerals and high amount of fibre. Heart patients are also advised to eat brown bread instead of white bread
  • Carry out light exercise such as walking every day before breakfast for up to an hour to stimulate blood circulation and help maintain a healthy weight

Dararkeh added:

Ramadan can be a challenging time for many people, as their usual eating routine changes significantly. It is therefore important for patients with heart conditions to carefully plan the food consumed to ensure they enjoy a healthy Ramadan.’

For more information, visit

Ramadan Guide 2016