Muslim people with diabetes who opt to fast during Ramadan are being given advice on how to maintain their blood sugar levels.

Diabetes UK has produced a Ramadan calendar giving the daily times of sunrise and sunset, which is when the Koran requires fasting.

The calendar also contains advice about how people can make sure their blood sugar levels do not dip.

Raj Chandarana, head of equality and diversity for Diabetes UK, said: "Although Muslims who have diabetes do not have to fast, many will choose to. The major problem during the fast is the potential onset of hypoglycaemia, also known as a hypo, when the body does not have enough glucose in the blood.

"Those who fast should eat food that is absorbed relatively slowly, such as basmati rice, pitta bread, chapattis and dhal, before they begin the fast. Choosing these types of foods and fruits and vegetables will help keep blood glucose levels more even during the course of the fast. People should also check their blood sugar levels more frequently than usual so that they can, if necessary, break the fast if their blood sugar levels become too low.

"How people break their fast is also important. People should avoid eating a lot of sweet or fatty foods and aim for healthier options such as low GI foods, vegetables and fruit. They should also try to eat these kinds of foods again towards the end of the feasting period, just before sunrise, and they should drink plenty of fluids, particularly sugar-free and decaffeinated drinks to avoid dehydration."

The start of Ramadan depends on the moon, but is expected to be on or about July 19.

The calendar is available at