But not everyone has time for this. Muslim women no
longer have the time to cook fresh meals for their fam-
ily, and they have to rely on prepared foods that make
their life easier when going out to work or study every
day. Their children want to eat the same junk food all
their friends have in their lunch box. So, once again, it
goes back to petitioning the food manufacturers to do
their best to make sure that the products that they are
producing aren’t exceptionally high in sugar, salt, fat,
additives and preservatives that give them a long shelf
life, and to list on the label what is in the food.
Fat, sugar and salt in processed foods are usually
added to mask the taste of chemical additives. With
this increased flavoring, salt and sugar content in their
food, people that are used to eating these types of prod-
ucts might find it difficult to go to a purer product with
just the basic ingredients in it. They have become an
addiction, just like tobacco.
Yale University professor of psychology and public
health, Kelly Brownell, an especially vocal proponent
of the view that the processed-food industry should
be seen as a public health menace, said, “As a culture,
we’ve become upset by the tobacco companies adver-
tising to children, but we sit idly by while the food
companies do the very same thing. And we could make
a claim that the toll taken on the public health by a
poor diet rivals that taken by tobacco.”
Changing your diet, if it is an unhealthy one, is not
one that you can do overnight. But one of the blessings
given to the Muslims is the month of Ramadan. During
the fasting month, which is now during the long days
of summer in North America, people who are looking
to make these changes can try to start doing this while
fasting. It is a time of strong intentions, and Allah gives
you the blessing of helping you fulfill these intentions
during this blessed month.
So take advantage, and make a plan to improve your
diet during Ramadan if you need to. The night is not
the time to get as much into your stomach as possible,
but to get the nutrients that you need to sustain your-
self for your fast the next day. Monitor the food you are
eating at this time to get simply the best from it.
Then, once you get back to your normal eating routine
after Ramadan, you will hopefully have the resolve to
keep hold of the changes you have made, and carry on
with a healthy diet and a halal and healthy lifestyle.
Summer 2013
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