Fasting has been around for thousands of years often as a type of religious cleansing. There are many ways to fast, such as just eating fruit and veggies. However, the growing trend of intermittent fasting has a few scary health risks.
Increased Risk For Eating Disorders
Originally designed to be done for 3 to 5 days, or ongoing one day a week—the trend is now to intermittent fast every day. For many, this means going at least 12 hours before dinner and breakfast, and again 12 hours before breakfast and dinner. Some go as far as 16 hours between meals. While done for “health” this daily starvation increases the risk to binge when it’s time to eat, and due to overeating leaves many considering purging. It also a gateway behavior for anorexia as some take is as a challenge to see how long they can go without eating.
Increased Health Risks
Fasting daily boosts cortisol and the body’s natural fight or flight response increases the risk for diabetes as there is not enough food consumed to stabilize blood sugar, and can lead to malnutrition which decreased immunity and increases the risk for a long list of health problems.
Food Becomes The Enemy
The wait between meals, even though you may be weak and grumpy due to your malnutrition, makes food the enemy. It leads to many negative though patterns about themselves just because they are geniuenly hungry.
While short-term and occasional fasting can be healthy, daily fasting is anything but. Food is required to nourish our body and maintain our health. If you are unclear of what to eat for your health reach out to a licensed dietician or nutritionist.