Studying 30 students who follow Ramadan, nutritionists have come to the conclusion that the body's nutritional requirements during the ritual can be fulfilled by consuming diets low in fat and rich in proteins and carbohydrates.
Carried out in the departments of Nutrition and Bromatology and Chemistry-Physics of the university, the study revealed that macronutrient consumption levels in this period are not appropriate when compared with the reference recommendations.
The researchers say that the number of daily ingestions drops to two or three, with regard to the four or five ingestions of the rest of the population in this period.
They have found that because of the diet, corporal fat increases and muscular mass falls.
The students involved in the study were all aged between 19 and 27, and the studied population included 36 per cent women and 64 per cent men.
Findings from this population were compared with those from 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 per cent of total energy, against the recommended 30 per cent, by decreasing proteins, which represented nine per cent of the total energy, against the recommended 15 per cent, and a decrease of carbohydrates to 43 per cent, against the 50-60 per cent recommended.
The researchers insist that their work shows that it is possible to prevent an unbalanced diet during the Ramadan period.
Based on their observations, they 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 study has been published in the journals 'European journal of lipid science and technology', 'Nutrition', 'Analytical Chimica Acta' and 'Journal of nutrition'.