Dry Fasting is the buzz phrase some dieters are using. Is it a dangerous new trend?
Available for Interviews:
Dr. Andrea Nazarenko MA MA MAS PhD
Author, When Food Hurts: 4 Steps to a Gut-Happy Lifestyle: Overcome Food Sensitivities, Eczema, ADHD, Autism, Digestive Problems, Depression, Anxiety, Brain Fog, Fatigue, Autoimmunity and Chronic Disease
Fasting is when you intentionally avoid food for a predetermined period of time. It has been practiced for centuries in different religious practices, and has recently grown in popularity as a health trend (mostly related to weight loss). There are many different ways to fast: Intermittent Fasting, Alternate Day Fasting, Fasting once a week, etc.
The newest trend is what is known as “dry fasting”. Dry fasting is a fast where the individual does not drink any water, tea, or beverage of any kind (along with no water).
Advocates claim that dry fasting can help boost immunity, lose weight, rejuvenate cells, and improve health.
Unfortunately, there are few studies supporting these claims. Most studies on dry fasting come from observations of people fasting during Ramadan, where healthy individuals fast for religious reasons. These are time-limited, infrequent fasts that are spiritual in nature. For multiple reasons, the findings in these studies may not translate to a generalized population or trend to dry fast.
What’s the harm? Humans are composed of 60% water. Studies show the brain and heart are 73% water and the lungs are 83% water. Restricting water can have a major impact on our overall health. Just because you are losing weight, doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
Potential health harms include:
-other unknown effects
Ultimately there is limited data showing the safety of this trend. People should focus on healthy eating and sustainable diets to improve health. Extreme food restrictions may have benefits in the short term but will likely have harms in the long term. Water flushes our body of toxins and keeps our bodies functioning the way it should. People should drink half their body weight in ounces per day.
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