Tips for an Easy Fast

Here are some quick tips to make your Yom Kippur fast a bit more bearable:

* The day before the fast begins, take frequent drinks of water.
* Eat a balanced meal before the fast. Proteins and fats are absorbed more slowly than sugars and provide the necessary energy, but you should balance your meal with 55% complex carbohydrates, 15% proteins and 30% fats.
* Your last meal should include complex carbohydrates like pasta, rice, potatoes and whole-grain bread. When complex carbohydrates are stored in the liver, water is retained so the body suffers less dehydration during a fast.
* Do not overeat before you fast.
* Avoid salty or sweet foods or beverages before the fast, because they may make you thirsty.

The best way to break the fast:

* Drink a non-carbonated beverage and eat a slice of bread or dry cake. After an hour, enjoy a full meal.

Source: Dr. Elliot Berry, head of clinical nutrition at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School.

This article was featured in the Fall 1999 issue of Jewish Action.
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