Frequent readers of Just Your Average Joggler know my desire to live to 107. You also might know of my penchant for conducting experiments on myself. For example, there was the time I went an entire week without spending any money and the time I ate only nuts for a week. Maybe someday I’ll post those stories.
Fasting for heart health
So, this story about occasional fasting lowering heart disease was intriguing. According to scientists at American Heart Association, people who fast (skip eating) seem to have healthier hearts. They originally noticed this in the 1970’s when people from the Church of Latter-Day Saints were less likely to die from heart disease. At the time it was believed to be because they didn’t use tobacco.
However, scientists remained curious and did a later study that looked at heart health and a variety of behaviors including “not smoking; fasting (abstaining from food and drink for two consecutive meals); not drinking tea, coffee or alcohol; observing a weekly day of rest; attending worship services; and donating time, goods or money to charity.”
It turns out fasting had the strongest association with a healthy heart. (Tea drinking had a negative association but we’ll ignore that for the moment.) While the study doesn’t prove a direct effect it is suggestive that more research should be done.
Impact on jogglers
Since living long and staying heart healthy are important to me, I’m willing to try skipping out on found once a month. Certainly, after the Thanksgiving gorge-fest one day without any food shouldn’t be too bad. It shouldn’t be too hard either. There are some days I don’t eat anything until 3 pm. What’s a few more hours?
For the sake of curiosity, how many of you think you could skip eating for a day?