Ramazan is a time of spiritual reflection and renewal for Muslims worldwide, but it can also bring about changes in dietary habits that could have long-term health consequences. Gaining weight during Ramazan could contribute to the diabetes epidemic in Pakistan, where the disease is responsible for over 400,000 deaths annually.
Pakistan has the third highest number of people living with diabetes globally, after China and India, and around 26.9 percent of 33 million diabetic patients in Pakistan are undiagnosed, placing them at risk of serious and life-threatening complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and lower-limb amputation.
Studies have shown that Muslims worldwide tend to gain weight during Ramazan despite fasting. Pakistanis consume many fatty, oily, and sugary foods and beverages more frequently than any other nation during Ramazan. During non-fasting times, they consume large amounts of unhealthy food at Iftar, and after a short span, they consume again at Sehar with more or less a similar quantity of foodstuff.
Experts advise fasting individuals to be mindful of their food choices and portion sizes during Ramazan and engage in physical activity to maintain a healthy weight and reduce their risk of diabetes. It is important to maintain a balanced and healthy diet during Ramazan and avoid overeating, especially during non-fasting times.
The variety of sugary and oily food choices, their easy availability at supermarkets, and overeating during the non-fasting time of the day contribute significantly to weight gain. Breaking the fast with water or dates, a good natural sugar source, and avoiding sugary drinks and foods can help address this issue. In addition to dietary changes, regular physical activity is a key component of a healthy lifestyle.
Incorporating physical activity into daily routines, such as taking a brisk walk after Iftar or engaging in light exercise before Sehar, can help maintain energy levels and prevent weight gain. There are several other practical ways to lead a healthier lifestyle during Ramazan, such as reducing sugar intake and maintaining a balanced and healthy diet throughout the month of fasting.
By adopting these practical strategies, the fasting individual can reduce their sugar intake and improve their overall health and well-being during Ramazan. It is essential to be mindful of food choices and portion sizes, engage in physical activity, and maintain a balanced and healthy diet to reduce the risk of diabetes during Ramazan.
In conclusion, maintaining a healthy lifestyle during Ramazan can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases. It is crucial to be mindful of dietary habits and engage in physical activity to promote overall health and well-being. By making small but significant changes to our daily routines, we can improve our quality of life and reduce the risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases.