What is fasting? Fasting is defined as the act of willingly abstaining from some or all types of food, drink or both for a specified period of time. Fasting can be absolute, which means the abstinence of all food and beverages for a specified time or in several daytime periods. Another type of fasting is partially restrictive, which limits only particular types of foods. But the question is; is fasting good for you?
Although fasting is commonly associated with religious rituals, protests and diet trends, most doctors do not endorse fasting as a healthy option. However, base on recent cardiac researches, routine and periodic fasting can actually offer some significant benefits for the health. It has been found out that fasting can actually help in lowering down the risk or the possibility of having coronary artery disease and diabetes due to the significant decrease of blood cholesterol level. In addition to these, the Medical Center Heart Institute has shown that fasting can also reduce the possible factors that can trigger cardiac problems such as triglycerides, weight and blood sugar levels. This is linked to the fact that when the body becomes hungry due to fasting, it produces stress in the system that causes the release of more cholesterol. Aside from this, the body tends to use fat more as a fuel instead of using the usual glucose. Because of this, the fat cells in the body tend to decrease, which makes the body less prone to experiencing insulin resistance.
In addition to these, fasting is also said to be effective in cleaning the body. In fact, experts have told that fasting for a week can already help clean all the preservatives we’ve put in the past year. This however needs at least 3 days of fasting in order to see the difference. This type of practice is usually connected to religious traditions and beliefs since some people engage in fasting for more than a month, but are still able to survive. This is due to the fact that prayer is involved in order to keep the body physically and mentally capable of handling the situation. Religious leaders who practice fasting say that once a meal is skipped, prayer must be given in order to give strength to the body.
However, fasting should never be taken lightly by anybody. Even though it is practiced for years in some religions, fasting should never be practiced without complete mental, physical and spiritual preparation. Problems with health can hinder the body in sustaining the required energy to go through this process. This only shows that medical advice should always be sought to first prior to submitting oneself to such kind of procedure. A hectic and active lifestyle should also not be subject for fasting since the body requires energy and glucose especially for athletes and active individuals. Once glucose if extremely low, health risks and complications are very possible, which can cause or result to something very serious in our health. These are some of the facts with regards to the benefits and the disadvantages of fasting.