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Keto Diet: Can it have an effect on our body and mind?

Food 30 Dec 2020
Eat-Well
keto diet
A set of keto diet products. Meat, cottage cheese, walnuts, olive oil, chicken, avocados, greens and eggs

People today have a great interest in the Keto diet. Many health specialists suggest their patients to maintain a Keto diet to lose weight. Among them, many also suggest fasting like Muslims as they usually do in Ramadan. As Muslims, if we follow the lifestyle of our beloved Prophet (SAW), it will be enough for us. So, let’s see how our spirituality and the Keto Diet work in a Prophetic way.

The Prophetic Lifestyle and its impact on body and mind

Compare this with the example of the Prophet(SAW) and his companions from the biography, virtues, and noble character of the Prophet (SAW).

During that time the majority of people were not faced with the problem of excess just we face today. Indeed, hunger was the norm. As described in many hadith in which the Prophet (SAW) and his family would spend many consecutive day and nights and didn’t have food. And most of the time their bread was barley bread. (Tirmidhi)

The hunger would be so extreme at times, he and his companions would sometimes try to tie stones to their stomachs to reduce the pain of hunger. (Muslim)

Some days there was no food in his blessed home, and the Prophet (SAW) would declare himself to be fasting. (Sunan Ibn Majah)

The Prophet (SAW) said

“A person fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he wants to fill it, then he can fill it by 1/3 of food, 1/3 for a drink, and 1/3 for air.” (Ibn Majah)

Keto diet and pre-modern lifestyle

He was also reported in some hadith to be muscular and have a toned physique. “His chest and belly were in line, but his chest was wide and broad. The space between his shoulders was wide. The bones of his body joints were strong and large (which denotes his strength).”

If we add on top of that a regular practice of fasting, all while continuing the vigors of an active pre-modern lifestyle, there is little doubt in mind that our predecessors spent lots of time in a ketogenic state.

One last evidence to consider is the hadith on the breath of those who are fasting in which the Prophet (SAW) said:

“By Allah in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad (SAW), the breath of the observer of fast is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i)

There is no doubt that dry mouth contributes to bad breath, which is so common during fasting. And this hadith is usually taken to mean that despite our perception of bad breath, Allah is pleased by the act of worship that produces it. Thus it is sweeter than musk.

However, the Keto diet also has an effect on the breath. One of the ketones made is acetone, which is released with breath and has a very distinct fruity smell. I find that to be a much more compelling explanation for what is being referred to in the hadith.

So, What’s The Point?

Now, it may seem that here we are brokering for a Keto diet. No, It’s not quite that. What we are brokering for is a cyclic ketogenic state that can be arisen from a combination of caloric restriction, time-restricted eating (what we do in Ramadan), significantly reducing carbohydrates and getting most of our nutrition from our healthy fat.

Ramadan and Diet

Ramadan is the time when most of these things can be happened, especially the first two, and the duration is limited.

we should remember, Ramadan is an opportunity to engage in a process of self-discovery and self-examination with predictable regularity, guided by the powerful realization in which an entire community is engaged in a same process.

Our first responsibility in the fulfillment of the trust our Creator places upon us is the mind, body, and soul as a deposit to us. It is with and through them that we engage Allah’s will.

Speaking from personal experience, the focus on worship and sense of connectivity I have found in a state of Keto diet is nothing short of a gift from Allah. That means we have exchanged the traditional lifestyle for a modern one means having to use the tools of the scientific method to understand how the average Muslim can use their physiology to help them on their spiritual journey.

Our compact vision of the human being, not a separated mind and body, means one can’t benefit from an act spiritually without benefiting cognitively and physiologically.

Anything true and of correct guidance in this article is from Allah, any faults are my own. May Allah bless us to benefit from this article. Ameen.