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What research says about eating habits during Ramadan.

Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, food, family and friends. The latter three often come hand in hand and a lot of focus is put on the quantity and types of food being served for iftar (the time when Muslims break their fast after sunset).

Considering the fact that those who fast are limited to two main meals during the day (suhoor and iftar), it’s surprising to learn that a strong majority of Muslims are concerned about their eating habits during the month.

New research from Philips reveals that one in five say that the length of cooking time keeps them from eating healthy, while one in five admit to putting on weight during the month.

Shockingly, 56 percent considered a deep fat fryer to be a healthy way of cooking. Not only are most consuming more food that lacks nutritional value, but 44 percent are spending more on food than they typically would during this time.

On a positive note, it looks like attitudes are slowly changing for the better. About 40 percent of those who were surveyed say they would like to cook healthier meals. Around half download new recipes specifically for Ramadan, while 85 percent of those people end up testing out the new recipes.

Cooking food from a respective culture is also important for many, with 51 percent usually deciding to cook what the family likes, versus 49 percent who cook what they already know.

The most popular food choices during Ramadan are soups, samosa, rice dishes and Yaprak Sarma (stuffed vine leaves).

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