Fasting - will it kill you?

Fasting - will it kill you?

Intermittent fasting. Will it kill you? 

The short answer is no; otherwise, of course, you keep fasting until you die. I have been flooded with messages from people asking me about the latest research study that "shows" that intermittent fasting will increase your cardiac risk by 91%. 

There are many lessons in this story, so let us unpack it. 

I have said this before, but a study, even the best ones, is at best an indication, not a definitive guide.

Studies of someone fasting are affected by so many other factors that it is hard to determine whether the outcome was or was not caused by the fasting alone. 

In this case, if you go into the weeds of the study, there are several disclaimers that make the findings of the study almost useless. 

Most of us simply do not have the passion or the motivation to go beyond the article claiming death by fasting. The world around us exploits this fact. Click bait, I think, is the term widely used. 

Intermittent fasting is not a magic bullet. There are reasons why you should not fast, for example, if you have a thyroid condition. 

However, when done well, intermittent fasting can be a great tool for you to reduce your calorie intake. You are skipping a meal after all. 

Calorie restriction has been linked to longevity, better insulin resistance, a lower weight, and improved metabolic health. 

So, if fasting is helping you achieve all of this, then it is a great thing to do. 

Fasting is also hormetic. Hormesis is the science of giving your body a little bit of stress, making it stronger. So again, a great outcome for you. 

So where is the catch? 

Simply put, it is in our interest not to be swayed by headlines. Either in favor of fasting or against.