Should we be taking a food break every once in a while? Several studies have found that severely restricting your caloric intake can make you healthier and prolong your life, and now new research has shown that intermittent fasting could possibly help lower your risk of heart disease.
One study looked at people who fasted for a full 24 hours and found that fasting decreased both triglyceride and blood sugar levels, as well as increased human growth hormone, which is needed in metabolism. In another study, researchers surveyed residents of Salt Lake City and found that Mormons who fasted once a month had a lower rate of heart disease and diabetes (although, maybe that could be because more-observant Mormons are more likely to abstain from an unhealthy lifestyle as well?).
It's important to note that these findings looked at short duration fasting, so this isn't a reason to start a master cleanse. Our bodies, of course, need nutrients; not eating enough or drinking enough water can lead to its own set of problems, and the researchers of the first study noted that they need to find out more before they can recommend fasting as a healthy lifestyle choice.
Do you fast? What are your reasons for doing so?