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Harlesden diabetes volunteer offers nutritional advice to Muslims during Ramadan

PUBLISHED: 16:58 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:47 30 April 2020

Diabetes UK volunteer Mistura Yusuf. PIcture: Diabetes UK

Diabetes UK volunteer Mistura Yusuf. PIcture: Diabetes UK

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A Harlesden Diabetes UK volunteer has been offering advice on healthy eating during Ramadan while the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Mistura Yusuf, a nutritionist working as a community champion and walk leader for Brent Council’s public health department, has given four online presentations in mosques and one with a Muslim women’s charity organisation to prepare for Ramadan which runs until around May 23.

The medical implications of undertaking a prolonged fast can be serious for diabetics if not managed well.

“I’ve had family deaths caused by complications of diabetes,” said Mistura. “I don’t have diabetes but I know that I am at high risk of developing the condition.”

Mistura, who has been a Diabetes UK volunteer since 2007, most recently delivered her presentation to members of the Council of Nigerian Muslim Organisation and is due to re-visit one of the mosques to give a second online talk.

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She said: “It started when one of the mosques where I was going to do a face to face presentation cancelled but then went on to suggest that I did an online presentation. The good thing is that they already had a good network on national and international platforms. The word went round quickly and requests started coming in without me advertising the talk at all.

“The talks went well. People were very attentive and could ask questions so it was interactive.”

Mistura suggests not fasting if you have any symptoms of Covid-19, and including more slowly absorbed foods such as rice and dhal in meals, along with fruit and vegetables. She suggests increasing blood sugar level checks and eating only small quantities of food when breaking a fast, avoiding sweet or fatty food.

Diabetics must also stay at home and avoid visiting the mosque during this time, should any be open.

Mistura added: “I really enjoy my work with Diabetes UK. I meet so many people from different walks of life.

“I am keen to promote the importance of good nutrition. I believe in the vision of Diabetes UK to create a world where diabetes can do no harm by raising awareness, promoting the facts and spreading the message of hope.”

People living with diabetes and thinking of fasting are advised to consult their GP or diabetes nurse.


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