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Datuk Dr Selvam Rengasamy MBBS, FRCOG,

Fasting has been a religious practice for centuries in most cultures. Medical profession which has been always focussing on the caloric intake and regular meals has now accepted that fasting improves health.

Traditionally fasting is observed during religious festivals, according to lunar calendar days, auspicious days as an offering to God & self purification. This is done in many ways, from eating one vegetarian meal a day anywhere from 21days and onwards to total abstinence from food for an entire day.

There are many variations to this practice in different cultures. When fasting is observed for 2-4 days, various medical benefits have been observed as shown by a recent University of Southern California study. A shorter, 24 hour fasting can be beneficial as well. This study as well as many other studies have shown the following benefits of fasting:

1: A powerful anti aging effect

  1. Immune stimulating effect
  2. Stem cell activation
  3. A powerful protection against Cancer cell proliferation by lowering Insulin levels. Cancer cell proliferation occurs in the presence of Glucose and Insulin. It should be noted that Insulin is a Proliferative hormone and that means it increases the rate of cell division!

Let’s talk about Intermittent Fasting which has caught the medical attention recently. Intermittent Fasting has also been in practice in many cultures for ages. My father who found his way to where he started at the age of 93 was a very spiritual person. He used to fast with one meal a day for 21 days from the time I can remember before religious rites at Hindu and Buddhist temples. He was healthy till his last days only succumbing to the divine call.

There are variations in the Intermittent Fasting. The difference is in the number of hours that you can eat and the number of hours that you need to fast. There is also some difference in what you can eat. Although it is often advised that you can eat whatever you want for the certain number of hours, it is prudent to watch THE CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE AS IT WILL STIMULATE INSULIN PRODUCTION & RELEASE.

My advise has always been a diet that comprises of PLENTY OF FRESH VEGETABLES, LOW CARBS  WITH GOOD FATS & PROTEINS. Better results can be seen when you limit your eating hours to 8 and fasting hours to 16 making up a day of 24 hours. The window of eating is entirely up to you which means you are at your own liberty to start eating at any time as long as you close the window within 8 hrs. The 16 hrs of fasting will not be difficult with hunger and food cravings as long as you choose the timing smartly and always have more vegetables and good fats and moderate amount of protein in your diet. It is the carbs that makes you feel hungry soon after meals.

“It is the decision that you make today involving changes in the way you live that decides your destiny .”

Towards Better Health for All.