Interesting news … intermittent fast with water might just bring down your heart disease risks and chances of developing diabetes. The research was conducted in an area where up to 65% of the population are Mormons who, in observation of their faith, fast one day every month.
Interesting that heart disease rates are consistently lowest in this area. Until recently, many experts attributed this to the fact the Mormon Church discourages smoking by members. However, even though the number of smokers has decreased across the US, Utah continues to have a heart disease rate that is lower than the rest.
In earlier work, the same research team found those subjects who answered “yes” when asked whether they had had less heart disease. The latest study bought to reproduce and take these earlier results further, to see if this might be the reason for the lower heart disease risk.
In an accompanying study the researchers examined blood markets for heart risks in those who had not fasted over the last 12 hours. The marks were reviewed when the subjects fasted and also monitored during a normal day of eating. The fasts were water only, though participants were allowed to take medication.
During the fast, the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) rose, as did LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol numbers – not favorable to be sure, but the researchers believe the rise may be temporary. But, those fast also had reductions in dangerous blood fats known as triglycerides, as well as blood sugar levels. When you fast, the body tries to preserve its cells and tissue, using fats instead of sugars for fuel.
There are lots of questions to answer before anyone will suggest fasting as a treatment for heart disease. Researchers do know that those who fast have a lower incidence of diabetes and heart disease, but just how these works will need more study before we can say for certain.
You've probably heard about fasts … juice fasts are popular on the internet. But comparing a water only fast to a juice fast is not a fair comparison. While they may provide a benefit to your heart, as shown in animal studies, the benefit is not as great as the water only fasting.
You should also know that fast is not for everyone. Young children, pregnant or nursing mothers and those with certain health conditions should not do this. If you're not sure, talk with your doctor to see if a water fast is safe for you. One of the other dangers is that a fast may prompt binge eating that destroys any healthy benefits you might have gotten.
Some researchers would like to point out that while not eating will decrease certain numbers, doing something to extreme is not always the best choice. What you eat, day in and day out, has far more impact on your heart disease risks than a single day event. Another thing, intermittent fast is not a magic pot or silver bullet … it's a lifestyle choice that becomes a part of your life. Not just for a while, but over the long term.