Why Does Someone Fast? - Duke's Materia Tonica
Fasting is an unconscious activity of not eating food during sleep, which is interrupted in the morning by eating breakfast.
Fasting can be faith-based or religiously observed, for instance, prayer and reflection during Ramadan. A medical practitioner may inform a patient to fast in preparation for medical tests or surgery.
Fasting can also be the unhealthy behavior of doing diets for weight loss and restriction of food for fat reduction in sports. Fasting is quackery when used for the treatment and management of diseases and conditions.
Faith-based and Religious Fasting of Food Feeds the Soul
Faith-based and religious fasting is spiritual medicine. Devotees practice restraint from eating food to be hungry so they may observe thoughts and feelings, develop compassion toward suffering people, break bad habits, learn patience, recharge their faith, and to get closer to God.
During religious festivals, people reduce their intake of certain foods. During a fast, meals may be skipped, yet water and other liquids are allowed. Groups of people follow the guidelines according to their own religious or faith-based ideology.
Common religions that fast include:
Doctors Often Recommend Fasting for Tests and Surgery
Medical doctors may require fasting before blood tests or surgery, for example, skipping meals, limiting the intake of foods, or overnight fasting the day before tests or surgery.
Fasting for medical reasons is to ensure that the digestive system is not affected by the contents of food, to avoid excessive bleeding, or for testing, for instance, fasting for a blood sugar test.
Fasting for the Management of Disease is Quackery
Many dubious allopathic and alternative medicine doctors, academic schools, and websites practice quackery, by recommending fasting from food groups (e.g., removing meat, eggs and dairy for plant-based and vegan diets) and skipping meals for the prevention, treatment, and management of diseases and conditions. Quack doctors recommend fasting from foods, such as salt, eggs, dairy, and red meat, because they say it is unhealthy; linking food with the causes of diseases, instead of recognizing that food supports and promotes health.
No Benefit of Fasting for the Physical Body
Fasting has no benefit for the physical body, since nutrition is required by the body throughout the day for optimal functioning. Removing specific food groups and skipping meals (e.g., detox fasting and intermittent fasting diet) is an unhealthy behavior that starves the body of essential nutrients. Nutrients are required by the organs, glands, and tissues and fasting reduces the density of nutrients and diminishes healthy performance. Fasting is especially dangerous for weak, ill, young, and old people, or those that have a diagnosed medical condition.
Fasting for Weight Loss and Sports is Unhealthy Behavior
Fasting, by doing diets for weight loss and body fat reduction for sports is inappropriate. This is because, the reason someone is overweight, is due to nutrient deficiency in their diet, which is counterintuitive to a healthy weight loss lifestyle and sports performance. Instead, eat complete and balanced meals, which include a multivitamin and mineral supplement for supporting a healthy weight and medicinal remedies for promoting gradual weight loss and body fat reduction.