Ramadan is a Muslim religious observance in which participants do not eat or drink anything from dawn until sunset.
Researchers from the departments of Department of Nutrition and Bromatology and Department of Chemistry-Physics of the University of Granada have carried out a study in which they have revealed the need of counterbalancing the diet of the population who follow Ramadan.
According to the collected data, in this period of time macronutrient consumption levels are not appropriate if compared with the reference recommendations. The number of daily ingestions drops to 2 or 3, with regard to the 4 or 5 ingestions of the rest of the population in this period. In addition, scientists have established that, because of the diet, corporal fat increases and muscular mass falls.
The article nutritional assessment of a Moroccan university population in Ramadan time has been published by Professors María Jesús Oliveras López, Eduardo Agudo Aponte, Pablo Nieto Guindo, Fernando Martínez Martínez, Herminia López García de la Serrana and María del Carmen López Martínez. This study was carried out in a thirty-student of the UGR, all aged between 19 and 27, where 36% of the population were women and 64% men, and it was compared with a control population group, made up by thirty university volunteers who did not follow the Ramadan.
The feeding of those who followed Ramadan suffered an increase of lipid ingestion, which involved 48% of total energy, against the recommended 30%, by decreasing proteins, which represented 9% of the total energy, against the recommended 15%, and a decrease of carbohydrates to 43%, against the 50-60% recommended.
Research results prove that it is possible to prevent an unbalanced diet during the Ramadan period. Scientists have proposed a diet in which fat has been reduced and proteins and carbohydrates increased, according to the daily needs of this young population group.
The researchers point out the importance of informing this group about the importance of a balanced diet with only three or four meals from sunset by means of energy-providing food and the necessary macronutrients for the whole day.
The scientists who have carried out this work have published it in scientific journals such as the 'European journal of lipid science and technology', 'Nutrition', 'Analytical Chimica Acta' and 'Journal of nutrition', among others.