I have just gone through a five day fast. The benefits are well beyond that of weight loss. There are in fact multiple benefits of fasting that are so myriad that it is almost impossible even to highlight in one article.
Aside from longevity and cellular health to counteract disease. Cycling in and out of full ketosis supports many other benefits. Travis Chistofferson who has written a total of three somewhat technical books. He zeros in on Metabolic Health. This deals with the results in part of fasting, to wit Ketones. His latest: “Ketones, The Fourth Fuel: Warburg to Krebs to Veech, the 250 Year Journey to Find the Fountain of Youth.”
- Our body uses four types of fuel: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and ketones.
- Ketones burn clean and create far fewer harmful free radicals and do NOT rely on insulin.
- Ketones enter cells through a ‘monocarboxylic acid transport’ protein. Essentially insulin is unnecessary for the cells to be efficiently fueled.
- With the standard American diet, most people never reach a state of fat burning and ketosis.
- They’re constantly feeding their bodies with carbohydrates, and in this high-insulin state, they simply cannot burn fat.
Over time, Christofferson says, this wears out your “metabolic machinery”, resulting in insulin resistance and invariably weight gain.
This is why we see so much obesity, particularly in the United States, along with all the added side effects of the condition! The fact is, Nutritional ketosis is one of the most powerful ways to improve our body’s natural antioxidant capacity. Today, we see epidemic levels of insulin resistance and its associated negative health effects including diabetes, heart disease, and increased vulnerability to viral infections.
As we are into the second wave of the pandemic, optimizing our metabolic health seems an effective way to mitigate the severity of a COVID-19 infection. We can reason that being metabolically flexible, means we are not prone to insulin resistance, which along with diabetes are significant risk factors with respect to COVID-19 and one of the multiple benefits of fasting is in helping us fight this risk.