Despite a recent wave in its popularity, fasting is a centuries-old practice. It plays a major role in many cultures and religions. It is known to refrain from eating all or part of the food or drink for a specified period. There are many ways to fast. Generally, most types of fasting are done 24 to 72 hours. Cycling between meals and fasting is known as intermittent fasting, which varies from a few hours to a few days at a time.
There are many health benefits connected with fasting, from being overweight to improving brain function. Several studies have shown that fasting can improve blood sugar control, which can be particularly beneficial for people at risk of developing diabetes.
Meanwhile, another review found that intermittent fasting and same-day fasting were as effective as reducing caloric intake in lowering insulin resistance. Reducing insulin resistance can increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin, allowing it to transfer glucose from the bloodstream to your cells more efficiently.
Note that some studies have shown that fasting can affect blood sugar levels differently for men and women. Although acute infections are a natural immune process used to help fight infections, chronic inflammation can have serious health consequences. Research shows that infections can be involved in the development of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Some researches have shown that fasting can help decrease inflammation levels and improve health. A study of 50 healthy adults found that intermittent fasting for one month dramatically decreased the levels of inflammation.
The leading reason for death worldwide are heart diseases, accounting for approximately 31.5% of deaths worldwide. Changing your diet and lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Many dieters pick fasting, looking for a quick and easy way to shed pounds. In theory, abstaining from all foods and drinks or certain foods should reduce your overall calorie intake, which can lead to increased weight loss over time. Some research has also revealed that short-term fasting can boost metabolism by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which can promote weight loss.
Despite the long list of potential health benefits associated with fasting, this may not be suitable for everyone. If you have diabetes or hypoglycemia, fasting can cause blood sugar changes and breakdowns, which can be dangerous.
It is most helpful to speak to your doctor first if you have health problems or plan to fast for more than 24 hours. Besides, fasting is generally not recommended without medical supervision for the elderly, adolescents, or underweight people.
Be sure to stay well-hydrated and fill your plate with nutrient-rich foods during meal times to maximize the possible health benefits, when you decide to fast. Also, if the fast lasts longer, try to minimize strenuous physical activity and get plenty of rest. Fasting is a practice linked with a wide variety of likely health benefits, including weight loss, as well as improved blood sugar control, heart health, brain function, and cancer prevention.
From fasting to water to intermittent fasting and calorie restriction, many different types of fasting are suitable for almost any lifestyle. When combined with a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle, incorporating fasting into your routine can benefit your health.