Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Fast Healthy

WebMD says: Fasting on a regular basis may protect against heart disease, researchers report.

In a study of more than 4,500 men and women, people who fasted were 39% less likely to be diagnosed with coronary artery disease than those who didn't fast. Coronary artery disease was defined as having at least 70% narrowing or blockage in at least one coronary artery.

Though more than 90% of the people studied were Mormons, the findings held true even in those who had a different religious preference, says Benjamin D. Horne, PhD, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City.
The researchers did not put any time frame on fasting, but Horne notes that "among [Mormons], religious teachings involve fasting on the first Sunday of every month for 24 hours."


Personally, I've always kinda liked the six (or seven) fasts that Judaism has around the year. Some are particularly well timed (I'm thinking particularly of Tzom Gedalia and Ta'anit Esther) to seemingly balance out nearby holidays of heavy eating.

10 comments:

alex said...

Compare

"Personally, I've always kinda liked the six (or seven) fasts that Judaism has around the year."

with

"Personally, I can fast for a day pretty easily, so most times I don't mind it that much - but it's not something I look forward to either."

Orthoprax said...

Alex,

What of it? They don't conflict.

Leora said...

Due to the influence of my children who were fasting, I fasted for the first time on Tzom Gedaliah. I found it rather cleansing to fast two times in one week.

Others I know, though, struggle greatly just to make it through Yom Kippur.

The three days Yom Tov this year for those of us in galus meant a ridiculous amount of food in one month. No balance there.

Anonymous said...

When they say fasting, they are reffering to one that doesn't eat but does drink water. Not drinking has a different effect on the body, causing it to htink it is being starved.
I fast but I don't fool myslf to believe that it is healthy...

Orthoprax said...

Anon,

Actually, no, when they say fasting they referred specifically to "abstaining from food and drink for two consecutive meals."

http://scientificsessions.americanheart.org/portal/scientificsessions/ss/newsrelease11.06.07J

Naturally this kind of study is far from conclusive, but it is interesting.

alex said...

"They don't conflict."

Personally, I've always kinda liked your website. Personally, I can read through your posts pretty easily, so most times I don't mind it that much - but it's not something I look forward to either.

Orthoprax said...

Conceptually I like fasting (I have several posts to that effect), but I don't physically enjoy the not eating part.

Ben Avuyah said...

A tougher job would be finding a cardiovascular benefit to the "hecter chalavim viavarim" that cohanim were given. cholesterol city !!! ;-)

Orthoprax said...

There were too many kohanim as it was, got to make space for the next generation. ;-)

Barbara said...

This is great info to know.