The Truth About Fasting – Is Fasting Good Or Bad?

The Truth About Fasting – Is Fasting Good Or Bad?
Pushkar Garg
Nov 8, 2019
Updated On Nov 8, 2019 13:09

 

Fasting is not a new practice. People of most cultures and religions have been fasting for centuries. Abstaining from all or most foods for a day or more is quite common. Intermittent fasting benefits like reduced LDL (bad cholesterol) and weight loss have brought it wide recognition. Now, everyone wants to try it.

Fasting just to lose weight is not the best practice; you may lose weight at first but the long-term effects aren’t exactly good. Modern fasting regimes for immediate results do not consider all medical implications, which is why they cannot be trusted.

However, certain notions like “fasting can put your life in danger” are flawed. Fasting is one of the best ways to reverse insulin resistance, lose weight, and prevent Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s. Fasting keeps you up and about – keeps you full of energy.

One of the best ways to stay healthy is to eat well and fast periodically. It is not possible for us to always know which foods suit us and which don’t. This is where nutritionists come in. Consult certified nutritionists with FITFEAST to get daily diet recommendations that will help you get and stay fit. The recommendations can be modified to suit your lifestyle and workout preferences.

7 Benefits of Fasting

Reduced Insulin Resistance

Type-2 diabetes is a big problem across the world. Most likely, you know someone who has it if you don’t. It happens due to the body’s inability to handle sugar or due to consuming too much sugar. Several studies have shown that intermittent fasting helps regulate blood sugar levels. The body’s sensitivity to insulin increases as insulin resistance decreases, which helps the distribution of sugar to cells more effectively. Also, fasting might help with lowering blood sugar, which is great for diabetes patients and those who are at risk of developing it. However, fasting has different results for men and women.

Improved Blood Pressure and Heart Health

Almost 1/3rd of all deaths around the world are associated with heart disease; it is the leading cause of death. Again, incorporating a healthy diet benefits cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of heart problems. In a study, 8 weeks of fasting (alternate days) reduced blood triglycerides and LDL cholesterol significantly among the participants. Another study reported a decrease in blood pressure, blood triglycerides, and total cholesterol among obese adults fasting for 3 weeks. Fasting also reduces the risk of coronary disease.

Improved Brain Function

Fasting is supposed to have a great effect on brain health and might prevent neurodegenerative diseases. An 11-month long study showed significant improvement in brain function and brain structure among the subjects. Other studies reported an increased generation of nerve cells that improve cognitive function and brain health protection. Fasting is also associated with relieving inflammation, which helps prevent neurodegenerative disorders. This might prove to be beneficial for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients.

Boosts Metabolism And Weight Loss

Weight loss could very well be the biggest reason to start fasting. And why not? Staying away from certain foods and drinks or even limiting quantities of meals reduces calorie intake and gradually helps reduce weight.

Short-term fasting has been associated with improved metabolism, which can aid in weight loss. Alternate day fasting for 1-2 years can help lose up to 9% weight and decrease body fat considerably. Intermittent fasting for 3 to 12 weeks leads to calorie restriction and therefore, decreased body weight and fat mass. Fasting is more effective than eating less as it aids fat loss and preserves muscle tissue.

Cancer Prevention and Treatment Aid

Certain studies have been done that indicate the fasting might be helpful in cancer treatment and prevention. One of them reported tumor formation blocking with alternate-day fasting. Cancer cells don’t react well to several cycles of fasting and it might be as effective as chemotherapy. According to a study, fasting improved the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs.

Improved Health Through Reduced Inflammation

Inflammation is the body's natural immune response to infections but it can cause problems when it becomes chronic. Inflammation is known to cause serious conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and heart disease. Certain studies on fasting reveal that it can reduce inflammation and therefore, keep you healthy. Intermittent fasting for at least 1 month significantly impacts inflammation markers according to a study. Low-calorie diets also help in reducing inflammation and prove to be beneficial in chronic inflammatory condition and multiple sclerosis treatments.

Increased Lifespan

How about that? Fasting can actually help you live longer, according to a study. It delays the rate of aging and increases the survival rate by improving overall health. However, this research has been restricted to animals. Human research is required for conclusive results.

The benefits of fasting are clearly good for everyone. Check out the types of fasting and start with something simple to improve your health.

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