Herald: Fasting as a remedy

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Sep 28, 2021 | 5:16 AM HIST

Fasting as a remedy

Sathappan Narayanan

Do you remember Bush’s controversial statement on Indian eating habits and how they contributed to the global food crisis? What he meant in his 2008 statement was that the apparent improvement in the diets of people in India and China and the resulting food export ceilings were among the causes of the crisis. World Food of 2008! He may be partly right but utterly wrong, for the reality was shockingly opposite. Actual data according to 2008 statistics, the United States tops the list in per capita food consumption with 3,800 kilocalories, followed by European, Australian and Middle Eastern countries, all above 3000, and India at one. much lower level of 2360 kilocalories!

While eating more is a cause of food crisis, the focus should be on people with binge eating disorder (BED). The point is that a large percentage of people in the developed world and a smaller percentage of third world countries suffering from BED – experience episodes of eating large amounts, even when they are not hungry. After an episode, they may feel a strong sense of guilt or shame. If you eat when you’re not hungry, or if you obsess over thoughts of food when you’re not hungry, you are, by definition, an impulsive eater. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to send a signal to your stomach to let you know you are full. Overeating occurs when you continue to eat beyond this satiety point.

Sometimes it’s the taste, sometimes it’s the habit, or maybe it’s stress; Overeating can lead to unwanted weight gain and increase your risk for chronic disease. The risk of developing cancer may increase due to factors such as obesity, high consumption of alcohol or canned meat, and lack of physical activity.

Excess fat in the abdomen can contribute to the development of insulin resistance, a condition that underlies most cases of type 2 diabetes. Certain dietary fats that are found in commonly found in dairy products, meat and hardened oils increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Fasting or not eating food for an extended period of time is well known as a religious dietary practice. Over the past few years, many studies have been published showing that intermittent fasting or a fast-mimicking diet can reduce risk factors and reverse symptoms of serious health problems, including cancer.

Here are the most popular methods of intermittent fasting:

* The 16/8 Method: Also known as the Lean Gains Protocol, this involves skipping breakfast and limiting your daily meal period to 8 a.m., for example 1 to 9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.

* Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating dinner one day until dinner the next day.

* The 5: 2 diet: With this method, you only consume 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally on the other 5 days.

When you fast, several things happen in your body at the cellular and molecular level. For example, your body adjusts hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible. Your cells also initiate important repair processes.

Intermittent fasting can have many benefits for your body and brain. It can lead to weight loss and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It can also help to live longer.

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