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Fasting: Health Benefits and Risks
24 Jun. 2015

woman fastingFasting – a willing abstinence from food and drinks for a period of time – has been a spiritual practice since ancient times. It is commonly associated with religious beliefs. Though, many people choose to fast with the belief that it benefits health rather than because of spiritual beliefs. But is fasting really safe and will it make you healthier?

A study conducted in the University of Southern California, LA found that intermittent fasting for 1 day during a week may reduce the risk of diabetes as well as lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. Longer periods of fasting for several days may reboot the immune system, clearing out old immune cells and regenerating the new ones. Good news, isn’t it? However, learn about fasting health benefits and risks before going on a fasting diet.

Fasting health benefits include quick weight loss, detoxification, managing depression, immune cells regeneration, lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This is how it works:

Since the body is unable to get energy form food, it turns to glucose stored in liver and muscles for energy. This usually begins about 8 hours after the last consumed meal. Once the stored glucose is used up, the body starts to burn fat as a source of energy. The use of fat for energy also helps to reduce cholesterol levels, normalize blood pressure and preserve muscle. Detoxification also takes place as toxins stored in the body’s fat are dissolved and removed from the body. The level of endorphin rises after a few days of fasting, having a good impact on mental well-being.  When starving, the body system starts recycling the immune cells no more needed in an attempt to save energy.

While intermittent fasting for a day or two is rarely a problem for a healthy person, it involves certain risks for people with kidney or liver problems, compromised immune system and patients on medications. Moreover, some specialists claim that fasting is not a healthy tool in managing obesity. Here is why.
fasting for weight loss

Weight loss is quick, but it isn’t substantial as weight easily comes back as soon as you start eating normally. Worse still, fasting distracts people from the root principle of losing weight: low-calorie diet and exercise– the things that most dieticians and drug package leaflets when we order online drugs for weight loss warn. Some specialists even believe that fasting can trigger eating disorders or binge eating. It can cause dehydration if not enough water is drunk during fasting days. It can provoke heartburn as thinking about food during fasting periods makes stomach produce more acid.

No matter what your beliefs are, weigh all pros and cons before going on a fasting diet. Don’t forget to prior consult your doctor so that you can make a good thing of fasting.

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