By – Dana Spencer
Zero Carb Health does not advocate Fasting or IF (intermittent fasting) on a Zero Carb Diet. Fasting is beneficial if you are eating a diet that contains carbohydrates. The reason fasting is beneficial is because of the absence of damaging, inflammatory carbohydrates in the body, not the lack of food.
Sugar damages our bodies in many ways. There is no benefit of eating sugar, so eliminating sugar is a huge relief to our bodies. You can read all about the why and how sugar is so damaging in this article by Gary Taubes.
Eliminating wheat products and gluten is another reason fasting is beneficial. Wheat products, even so called healthy low carb fiber rich wheat products, are damaging to our bodies in many ways. The over consumption of wheat products is responsible for the growth of many metabolic diseases like Celiac disease, Diabetes and Heart disease. Wheat products also use up more nutrients in your body creating the need for supplements. Read about some of the problems with wheat here.
Fiber is another product that is wreaking havoc on our digestive symptoms. The human body cannot digest fiber. All it does is run through our intestines scaring them up and stealing water and nutrients from our bodies. Since I started a zero carb diet over 8 years ago, I can personally testify that no fiber is needed for intestinal health. In fact, the reason I am still ZC after all these years is because it cured me of life long digestive issues. Read all about the dangers and problems caused by dietary fiber here.
Fruit is high in carbohydrates and fructose. Fructose is more damaging than sugar (sucrose), especially harmful to our immune systems. I wrote a little about that in this post. Why would we want to put anything in our bodies that is going to suppress our immune system?! You can read more about the specific dangers of fructose here.
Vegetables are not meant for human consumption. The history of humans proves we were meant to eat primarily meat. Humans may have eaten some plant foods (if available) during hard times but the bulk of our food was animal meat. Our ancestors did not have cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or any of the metabolic diseases that are running rampant in today’s society. Plants have their own defense systems for survival. All plants have poisons in them. The vegetables you eat today are not in their natural, wild form. They have been genetically modified and hybridized to produce a vegetable/fruit that is edible and less harmful than it’s natural wild form.
Georgia Ede has an excellent post about how toxic vegetables are. You can find that here.
Weston Price also wrote an in-depth piece on the anti-nutrients and toxins in plant foods.
The human body NEEDS protein and fat to survive. Carbohydrate foods are not essential and as you can see from above, carbohydrate foods damage our bodies, suppress our immune systems, and rob nutrients from our cells. This is why, when a person coming from a diet that has vegetables, fruit, wheat, fiber and sugar, fasts, they feel good and experience health benefits. The health benefits are not from fasting and eliminating all food, it is from eliminating foods that damage your body.
Simply eliminating carbohydrates from your diet will produce all the benefits of fasting minus the starvation. The over consumption of carbohydrates is what is responsible for almost all the metabolic diseases of today; heart disease, diabetes, cancers, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, etc. The reason carbohydrates are responsible is because consuming them spikes Insulin and blood sugar. Chronically high Insulin and blood sugar levels are toxic and leads to disease, hormone imbalance and an unhealthy body.
There is no need to fast on a Zero Carb diet. When eating only meat, your are eliminating the foods that damaged it and providing it with the food that it needs to build, repair and heal. You body NEEDS nutrients, protein and fat everyday. If you are fasting where do you think your body is getting nutrients? It’s taking them from where ever it can get it, bones, organs, muscles and fat. Yes, you can lose fat when fasting, just know that you are also losing bone mass, muscle mass, and organ tissue. How is that healthy? More on muscle loss here.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) = Purposely fasting for so many hours a day. The reasoning behind IF, is that it allows your body a rest from the production of the fat storing hormone, insulin. A great read about insulin’s role and why you don’t want it circulating through your blood every 3-4 hours when you eat, is here.
A Zero Carb diet by default, replicates the idea behind IF. When you first begin a ZC diet, you will eat a lot because your body is starving for quality animal protein and fat, plus you are still suffering from carbohydrate cravings. Once you get over this (4-8weeks), you will naturally eat less often, thus eliminating the need to purposely starve yourself (IF). An all meat diet is very satiating, we do not get hungry every 3-4 hours. Many of us go 12 hours between meals naturally, some of us only eat 1 large meal a day. There is no need to force eating times and be watching the clock to see when you can eat. IF also sets people up for failure. When the body is sending you a hunger signal, it’s best to feed it! Continuing to starve yourself will only land you in the Drive Thru ordering a 12 pack of tacos!
IF is especially unhealthy for women. This Study found:
Another diabetes risk factor that has shown a sex-specific effect is glucose tolerance. After 3 wk of ADF (Alternate Day Fasting), women but not men had an increase in the area under the glucose curve. This unfavorable effect on glucose tolerance in women, accompanied by an apparent lack of an effect on insulin sensitivity, suggests that short-term ADF may be more beneficial in men than in women in reducing type 2 diabetes risk.
“At the end of the trial there was no insulin improvements in the women and their glucose response got worse, while the men had no glucose changes and their insulin response improved.”
American scientist, author and blogger Stefani Ruper, who was one of the first to question the safety of the 5:2 regime, warns:
“The IF regime was not just neutral for women, but was downright harmful.”
Another good post on the pro’s and cons of Intermittent Fasting is here. Again, are the cons worth it?
Here is another post outlining the harmful effects of IF in women.
If your goal is to be as healthy as you can be, I strongly suggest you consider a meat only Zero Carb diet and quit fooling around with diets, fads and fasting that may give you temporary results, but will probably further damage your metabolism.
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