Is Ramadan really as healthy as we claim it to be?
Is fasting (Ramadan Style) good for you?
All the intermittent fad diets we see do not reassemble Ramadan. My brothers and sisters keep banging about that these diets resemble Ramadan and are said to be healthy. But we have three MASSIVE differences between intermittent diets and Ramadan fasting:
1. You are encouraged to drink water. Ramadan, you are not!
2. They are continual as needed, not fixed for one month.
3. They are intended for people who have weight problems, not everyone!
Here are the key problems:Dehydration:
One study finds that incidences of dehydration increase during the month of Ramadan:
Evidence of hemoconcentration and dehydration has been found during Ramadan (El-Hazmi, Al-Faleh, & Al-Mofleh, 1987; Kayikcioglu et al., 1999; Ramadan et al., 1999; Schmahl & Metzler, 1991; Sweileh et al., 1992). Restricted fluid intake, leading to disturbance in the fluid balance, is likely to cause these conditions. In the initial stages of dehydration, the clinical signs are tachycardia, tiredness and malaise, headaches and nausea. Middle-aged or more elderly persons are usually more prone to the effects of dehydration (Schmahl & Metzler).
Dehydration is indicated by the increase of several serum biochemical parameters (El-Hazmi et al., 1987; Ramadan et al., 1999; Schmahl & Metzler, 1991; Sweileh et al., 1992). The increase in uric acid, however, should especially be noted (El-Ati et al, 1995; El-Hazmi et al., 1987; Fedail et al., 1982; Schmahl & Metzler, 1991), because hyperuricemia is one of the known sequelae of prolonged fasting (Murphy & Shipman, 1963). Hyperuricemia is associated with a reduction in glomerular filtration rate, decrease in uric acid clearance and alterations in the renal transport of uric acid (Murphy & Shipman). During Ramadan, however, reports show that the increase in uric acid does not excessively deviate from the normal range and studies have not reported clinical gout (El-Hazmi et al., 1987; Fedail et al., 1982). Increased uric acid is, therefore, unlikely to affect healthy individuals.Weight Fluctuation:
The following study takes a look at the significant fluctuations in the weight of individuals that occurs during the month of Ramadan, primarily as a result of the metabolic changes that occur in the body.
Numerous studies have reported significant weight loss during Ramadan (Adlouni, Ghalim, Benslimane, Lecerf, & Saile, 1997; Adlouni et al., 1998; Fedail, Murphy, Salih, Bolton, & Harvey, 1982; Kayikcioglu, Erkin, & Erakgun, 1999; Ramadan, Telahoun, Al-Zaid, & Barac-Nieto, 1999; Schmahl & Metzler, 1991; Sweileh, Schnitzler, Hunter, & Davis, 1992). The declines may result from water loss early in Ramadan and loss of body fat during the later period (Sweileh et al., 1992). In fact, we did find evidence of dehydration.
Loss of body fat would indicate the use of fat for energy production during Ramadan (Husain, Duncan, Cheah, & Ch’ng, 1987; Ramadan et al., 1999; Sweileh et al., 1992). In addition, researchers have found a decreased heart rate and oxygen consumption during Ramadan (Husain et al., 1987; Ramadan et al., 1999; Sweileh et al., 1992). These findings suggest a metabolic adaptation to fasting. It seems that during the Ramadan daylight hours – when no food or water is taken in – to conserve stored energy, the metabolism slows down (Sweileh et al., 1992).
Other studies, however, have reported no change in body weight during Ramadan (El-Ati, Beji, & Danguir, 1995; Finch, Day, Razak, Welch, & Rogers 1998; Maislos et al., 1993; Maislos, Abou-Rabiah, Zuili, Iordash, & Shany, 1998). In fact, one study carried out in Saudi Arabia reported a significant increase in body weight during Ramadan (Frost & Pirani, 1987). Such variations may be attributable to local custom and food quality. In short, in Islamic communities – as elsewhere – food habits vary according to geography, culture, and socioeconomic factors (Musaiger, 1993; Rashed, 1992). Ramadan is a special month and the variety of foods generally increases (Karaagaoglu & Yucecan, 2000) so, during this period, richer meals and special treats are not uncommon in households that can afford them.
But as a person, I noticed two things that someone needs to study:1. Stress Eating in Ramadan agitates people based on their personalities. Those who stress eat, who tend to be fat, get fatter in Ramadan. Those who lose appetite when stressed, tend to eat less at the iftar and end up losing weight in Ramadan. Observe it!
2. Deaths in Ramadan! Go to your local graveyard and count how many people die in Ramadan. In theory, it should be just 1/12th of the graves. When I did it in my local graveyard it was 3/12. Especially in the older graves, 30 years ago. Suggesting there are three times more deaths in Ramadan! People, in the olden days, died from diabetes and other medical conditions believing Ramadan makes them healthy. That is before we learned how to diagnose these illnesses.Allah, not great. Muhammad made it all up.
Click on image below. You can slide to see other images. To save: On PC, right click and save. On phone, press on the image and hold until option to save comes up. All images and content are public domain.
Find memes fast! Type a keyword and the results will appear immediately.