Diet Myth or Truth: Fasting Is Effective for Weight Loss

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Bakers who were caught tampering with weights or adulterating dough with less expensive ingredients could receive severe penalties. The symbolic role of bread as both sustenance and substance is illustrated in a sermon given by Saint Augustine:. Religious and cultural fasts are typically undertaken as an act of devotion, last from hours, and are not intended to promote weight loss. Nut lovers don't have to stick to almonds. Eggs Eggs get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss. Currently, hypertension is thought to affect roughly 50 million people in the U.

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WebMD archives content after 2 years to ensure our readers can easily find the most timely content. To find the most current information, please enter your topic of interest into our search box. Fasting is an age-old practice, often done for religious reasons, but fasting for weight loss is still capturing the public imagination. You can find dozens of do-it-yourself plans touting the unproven benefits of fasting, ranging from flushing "poisons" from the body to purging 30 pounds of fat in 30 days.

It's true that fasting -- that is, eating little to no food -- will result in weight loss, at least in the short term. But the risks far outweigh any benefits, and ultimately, fasting can cause more harm than good. Some plans allow a few solid foods, but are still called fasts because they provide so few calories. Not all fasts are created equal. Some can be perfectly safe, such as medical fasts supervised by a physician. Religious and cultural fasts are typically undertaken as an act of devotion, last from hours, and are not intended to promote weight loss.

Fasts lasting a day or two are unlikely to be dangerous for most healthy adults. The DASH study used a rigorous design called a randomized controlled trial RCT , and it involved teams of physicians, nurses, nutritionists, statisticians, and research coordinators working in a cooperative venture in which participants were selected and studied in each of these five research facilities.

The chosen facilities and locales for this multi-center study were: Two DASH trials were designed and carried out as multi-center, randomized, outpatient feeding studies with the purpose of testing the effects of dietary patterns on blood pressure.

The standardized multi-center protocol is an approach used in many large-scale multi-center studies funded by the NHLBI. A unique feature of the DASH diet was that the foods and menu were chosen based on conventionally consumed food items so it could be more easily adopted by the general public if results were positive.

The nutritional conceptualization of the DASH meal plans was based in part on this research. Two experimental diets were selected for the DASH study and compared with each other, and with a third: Magnesium and Potassium levels were close to the 75th percentile of U.

The DASH diet was designed to provide liberal amounts of key nutrients thought to play a part in lowering blood pressure, based on past epidemiologic studies. One of the unique features of the DASH study was that dietary patterns rather than single nutrients were being tested. Researchers have also found that the DASH diet is more effective than a low oxalate diet in the prevention and treatment of kidney stones, specifically calcium oxalate kidney stones the most common type.

Participants ate one of the three aforementioned dietary patterns in 3 separate phases of the trial, including 1 Screening, 2 , Run-in and 3 Intervention. In the screening phase, participants were screened for eligibility based on the combined results of blood pressure readings. In the 3 week run-in phase, each subject was given the control diet for 3 weeks, had their blood pressure measurements taken on each of five separate days, gave one hour urine sample and completed a questionnaire on symptoms.

At this point, subjects who were compliant with the feeding program during the screening phase were each randomly assigned to one of the three diets outlined above, to begin at the start of the 4th week. The intervention phase followed next; this was an 8-week period in which the subjects were provided the diet to which they had been randomly assigned. The first group of study subjects began the run-in phase of the trial in September while the fifth and final group began in January Alcohol was limited to no more than two beverages per day, and caffeine intake was limited to no more than three caffeinated beverages.

The minority portion of the study sample and the hypertensive portion both showed the largest reductions in blood pressure from the combination diet against the control diet. The hypertensive subjects experienced a drop of At the end of the intervention phase, Apart from only one subject on the control diet who was suffering from cholecystitis, other gastrointestinal symptoms had a low rate of incidence.

Like the previous study, it was based on a large sample participants and was a multi-center, randomized, outpatient feeding study where the subjects were given all their food.

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