Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stay Healthy When Fasting

If you weed through all the controversy, you'll find that most medical experts agree on one thing: fasting is not a healthy weight loss tool. "The appeal is that [fasting] is quick, but it is quick fluid loss, not substantial weight loss," says Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, CNS, founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Weight Loss Management Center. "If it's easy off, it will come back quickly" -- as soon as you start eating normally again, she says. Even some proponents of fasting for other medical purposes do not support fasting for weight loss. Some say it can actually make weight problems worse. The positive effects of IF have been chronicled in a variety of animal and human studies, starting with a seminal experiment in 1946 , when University of Chicago researchers discovered that denying food every third day boosted rats' lifespans by 20 percent in males, 15 percent in females. A 2007 review by University of California, Berkeley, researchers concluded that alternate-day fasting may: Decrease cardiovascular disease risk. Decrease cancer risk. Lower diabetes risk (at least in animals, data on humans were less clear, possibly because the trial periods in the studies were not long enough to show an effect). Improve cognitive function. Protect against some effects of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. What should we make of this? Dates will provide a burst of energy. Fruit juices will also have a similar, revitalising effect. Start by drinking plenty of water, which helps rehydration and reduces the chances of overindulgence. Avoid the rich, special dishes that traditionally celebrate the fast. Foods to avoid deep-fried foods, for example pakoras, samosas and fried dumplings high-sugar and high-fat foods, including sweets such as gulab jamun, rasgulla and balushahi high-fat cooked foods, for example, parathas, oily curries and greasy pastries Healthy alternatives baked samosas and boiled dumplings chapattis made without oil baked or grilled meat and chicken homemade pastry using just a single layer milk-based sweets and puddings such as rasmalai and barfee.

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