Is Fasting Beneficial?

So, apparently, I took the summer off, or something. Since I have not posted anything since the end of June, I thought I had better get back in the habit.

In my church, we are encouraged to fast (or refrain from eating and drinking) for a 24 hour period once a month. Generally, we hold this fast on the first Sunday of the month and each person can chose to participate or not. We do this for spiritual reasons, but the research in recent years have confirmed that there are definite health benefits from periodic fasting.

There are many ways to fast and lots of variety in the actual thing that is abstained from. According to Rachael Link, MS, RD in her July 30, 2018 article entitled 8 Health Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science on healthline.com, fasting is defined as “the abstinence from all or some foods or drinks for a set period of time” and “there are many different ways of fasting.” She continues, “In general, most types of fasts are performed over 24–72 hours.” She goes on to list and give detail those 8 benefits, which I have listed below, but checkout her full article for the evidences.

  • Promotes Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance
  • Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation
  • May Enhance Heart Health by Improving Blood Pressure, Triglycerides and Cholesterol Levels
  • May Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders
  • Aids Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake and Boosting Metabolism
  • Increases Growth Hormone Secretion, Which Is Vital for Growth, Metabolism, Weight Loss and Muscle Strength
  • Could Delay Aging and Extend Longevity
  • May Aid in Cancer Prevention and Increase the Effectiveness of Chemotherapy

Intermittent Fasting

One specific type of fasting which has become popular in recent years in called Intermittent Fasting. This is likely due to its purported ability to help increase weight loss, reduce insulin resistance, and combat the effects of aging. Intermittent fasting is where you eat normally during a part of the day, the hours of 10:00 am to 6:00 pm for example, and then restrict eating during the other part, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 am. There are normally no dietary restrictions on the types or quantities of food eaten during the non-fasting period and you are often encouraged to drink plenty of water during the fasting period.

In an article by Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS, of Designs for Health, some recent research into this type of fasting is reviewed. This research, published in Nutrition and Healthy Aging, demonstrates the benefits of intermittent fasting in reducing obesity. The researchers found significant decreases in both body weight and BMI for the intermittent fasting group compared to the control group. As well as an unexpected decrease in systolic blood pressure for the fasting group.

See the full article here:

New study demonstrates the effects of intermittent fasting on body weight and metabolic disease risk factors in obesity

Intermittent fastin concept - empty plate on blue background


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