Researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Utah recently conducted a study to determine the potential health benefits of participation in water only fasting. Participants who had never participated in a fast of more then twelve hours were observed during a water only fast lasting for 24 hours for the study. Your health care providers will help you determine the ideal dietary options that is safe and effective.
Researchers tested participants’ blood for heart risk indicators during the twenty four hour fast and following a day of normal food consumption. During the period of water only fasting researchers noted that the study participants showed decreases in triglycerides and glucose levels and increases in HDL and overall cholesterol. The information gather prompted researchers to conclude that participating in occasional 24 hour water only fasts may reduce the risk of serious health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
While the thought of forgoing food for a day once a month to improve heart health and ward off disease is intriguing many health care providers probably won’t be too quick to prescribe fasting to patients. Occasional fasting isn’t an ideal dietary option for some and the results of this particular study may not be enough to convince some doctors that the potential benefits of fasting outweigh the risks.
Until further research is performed on occasional fasting, health care providers will likely continue to advise patients to adopt a healthier and more balanced diet to reduce the risk of disease. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and eliminating high fat, high salt and high sugar foods is a safe and effective way to improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.