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Fast or Farce?

Posted on 6th April 2011 in Insight, Interesting Stuff
Written by: Jen Dugdale

Working in a foodservice agency, and also on a mission to improve my health and diet, I try to keep myself up-to-date with the latest nutritional research and interesting facts and figures when it comes to what’s good for us and what’s not.
And trust me, I’m all too familiar with conflicting and confusing advice!

But the latest bout of research suggests that regular stints of fasting can actually be good for us. Here’s me trying to fight the urge to eat practically nothing and cheat my way to a slimmer waste line – when all along it could actually be the way to go.

According to doctors at the American College of Cardiology in Utah, regularly going 24 hours without food may reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Is it just me or is anyone else now more perplexed than ever? I was always under the pretence that fasting shocked your body into starvation which meant it clung on to any scrap of fat it could get its hands on. Hence the long held advice that not eating isn’t good! It just goes to show where years of parental, doctor and google advice can get you – a lot of confusion and nowhere fast!

Doctors studied the health and habits of around 200 people who were used to fasting for at least one day a month. The tests suggested that fasting triggers a significant surge in human growth hormone, linked to speeding up metabolism and burning off fat.

They’ve even considering prescribing fasting to patients! That is, after a lot more research has gone in to its potential risks…I must admit I’m not convinced.

I don’t know about you, but for me the thought of going a whole day without a cup of tea really doesn’t bare thinking about!