Fasting, The Healthy Way.
Fasting is an act of abstaining from food, drink, sex or any other thing an individual like for the sake of some spiritual purposes. Major type of fasting commonly practiced is abstinence from food. Apart from religious or spiritual purposes, fasting can also be embarked upon for medical purposes. However before embarking on any fasting process, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
What Happens When you Fast
During the fasting process the body uses up the stored glucose in the liver and muscles to provide energy for the body. Depending on the length of the fast, once the glucose is exhausted fat will be broken down to provide energy for the body. The process of using fat to provide energy for the body in the absence of glucose is called ketosis.
Health Benefits of fasting
Most toxins in the body are stored in the body fat. So during the fasting process when the fats are dissolved, the toxins are removed from the body. Hence, fasting can also be used to detoxify the body. Other benefits of fasting include weights loss but most medical experts agree that fasting is not a healthy weight loss method. According to WebMD. Com”Fasting is not a weight loss tool. Fasting slows your metabolic rate down so your diet from before the fast is even more fattening after you fast,” says Joel Fuhrman MD, author of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Plan for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss and Fasting and Eating for Health.WebMD. com.
According to Courtney Peterson, PHD fasting reduces blood pressure and cholesterol. It also lowers the level of inflammation of the body and put the body in repair mode. Fasting is also associated with the production of antioxidants and enzyme increase that help repair and recycle cells.
Side Effects of Fasting
As good as the various benefits of fasting may sound, it is shocking to note that fasting has some serious side effect if not carried out properly. Many people have lost their lives in the process of fasting. Experts advice the use of water and juices in breaking of fast.This is because during the fasting process the stomach shrinks and become smaller. So food should be reintroduced into the stomach gradually to avoid problems like diarrhea, sickness, fainting or death.
Dr Adeeb Rizvi Head of S.I.U.T civil hospital Karachi, who is a leading kidney specialist has adviced those fasting not to break their fast with cold fizzy drinks like such as Pepsi, coca cola, 7 up etc . He stated that long fasting process causes dehydration of the kidney and so having cold or fizzy drinks may suddenly cause the kidney to fail.
The body gets 20% or more of its water through the food we eat. However during the fasting process the body is denied of this water. One should make up the lost water by drinking lots of water. Avoid breaking your fast with starchy foods like eba, rice, potatoes etc. Also avoid eating meat, dairy products, and fats and oil for sometime. Also the role of good nutrition cannot be overemphasized. Good food rich in carbohydrates, protein and minerals should be consumed in right proportion in order to replenish the lost nutrients during the fast.