What Fasting Can & Can\'t do for health!

What Fasting Can & Can't do for health!

By Sujatha Stephen  on: 31 July 2013
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Ritual fasting has been part of religious traditions for thousands of years. But a recent growing body of research shows that abstaining from food intermittently may have physical as well as spiritual benefits.

But is fasting a good idea for your health?

 


Every day, organs such as the liver, kidney, and spleen work to remove and neutralize toxins from the body to keep our cells healthy.
“When you fast, you eliminate input of additional toxins from food,” says Dr. Katz, “and there is a potential biological benefit to that.” 


Here’s how your body reacts when you stop feeding it:

  • When you eat, your digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into the sugar glucose, the body’s major source of energy. Glucose is absorbed from the digestive tract into the blood, which then travels to your body’s cells to provide them with fuel.
  • If you haven’t eaten recently, the supply of glucose in your blood drops and your body turns to stored glucose, called glycogen, for energy.
  • Once the glycogen is used up, your body begins to burn fat and muscle stores to make its own glucose to fuel your cells.
  • After a few days without eating (which experts don’t recommend) your body kicks into ketosis mode, meaning you burn fat as the primary source of fuel, in order to spare muscle
  • You will lose weight in the form of body fat. 


However, ketosis also makes your blood will also become more acidic, and can cause bad breath, fatigue, and other unpleasant symptoms; long-term, it can lead to kidney and liver damage.

Fasting may help your heart Fasting for a day once a month may prevent heart disease and insulin resistance.

During fasting, your fat cells are being metabolized and used as fuel, . “If fat is being used for fuel, in the long run you have fewer fat cells in your body.” This may mean less insulin resistance and a lower risk of heart disease later in life.

There’s a chance fasting can cut cancer risk. 


• Fasting won’t help you lose — and keep off — weight.

Fasting for weight loss is just another form of yo-yo dieting.

The pounds that come off on a short-term fast are mainly water and stored carbohydrates

• Fasting can’t take the place of a healthy diet. 

Eating well every day plays a major role in preventing heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. 
Focusing on consistently eating enough nutrient-rich whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains snowballs into proven powerful benefits over time.

• Talk to your doctor before you start a fasting regimen

While fasting may have the potential to play a role in wellness, it’s definitely not for everyone

Even if your doctor gives the go-ahead, don’t jump head first into fasting — it’s crucial that you understand how to do so safely, and in the context of a healthy lifestyle.


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Nutritionist/ Dietician in Dilsukh Nagar, Hyderabad, India 

Hi, my name is Sujatha Stephen . Starting out as a science graduate, I wasn't sure what direction to go in. I knew I wanted to help people with their overall health, but I didn't know how to choose a specific group of people.  The more confused I became as I thought about the specific medical direction I wanted to go into. As I attended a seminar on health and nutrition in my junior year, the answer finally came to me ... the basis of good health is proper nutrition!!! At that moment I knew I didn't have to choose a specific group of people to help. I could help everyone with preventative measures through diet and nutrition! From that point on, I was hooked on learning everything I possibly could about human nutrition. I truly believe that proper nutrition is the basis of good health and can be a preventative of many chronic illnesses, along with good fitness habits. My passion for nutrition and fitness has expanded throughout the years.  Now, I am on a mission to help as many people as I possibly can live healthier and happier lives. 
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