It is important to note that the field of nutrition and health is multifaceted and confusing due to the sheer complexity of human physiology, anatomy, and behavior. Human health and well-being is the most valuable aspect of existence, and the modern age is plagued by metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular issues. In the given book review, I will begin with book choice reasoning, followed by the topics of fasting and insulin resistance with subsequent literature corroborations.
I chose the book The Complete Guide to Fasting written by Jimmy Moore and Jason Fung because it is an outstanding, valid, reliable, and scientifically backed piece of literature on fasting. Although fasting has been practiced by many groups, religions, and cultures for centuries, it recently became a new popular trend on the internet. However, people are poorly educated and uninformed about what fasting is and how it is useful to the human body. Thus, I decided to read the book to understand what it is, how it is done, and what resources I can use to benefit from it. The most significant confusion about fasting is comparing it with starvation, and the authors clearly outline why the given practice is different by indicating the presence of control and voluntary intent (Moore & Fung, 2016). In other words, a person is fasting when he or she is in control of the food intake and intends to do it voluntarily with the purpose of some benefit. However, it is starvation when a person is forced to fast by either the lack of food or voluntary intent for a worthwhile goal.
Two Topics of Interest
The first topic of interest is the practice of fasting itself. The book states that fasting has a massive potential to heal one’s body, help with non-communicable diseases, and improve health (Moore & Fung, 2016). I have always sought to be healthy, but I did not know what to do beyond the conventional wisdom of avoiding harmful habits, such as overeating, smoking, and others. The book profoundly impacted how I look at health, healthy eating, and food consumption. I no longer bother with the counting of calories because fasting allows me to regulate my eating patterns in a superior manner.
The second topic of interest is diabetes because I have a high risk of developing it, reflecting on my family’s health history. The book states that obesity and diabetes are caused by the development of insulin resistance due to repeated and continuous stimulation of the pancreas to release insulin (Moore & Fung, 2016). The reading impacted me by explaining the underlying mechanisms behind insulin resistance, diabetes, and fasting. Now, I fast follow the 16:8 protocol, which helps to minimize insulin resistance development.
The existing scientific and professional literature on fasting is extensive and firm, and they almost unanimously support the benefits of fasting. A study shows that fasting can reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (Crupi et al., 2020). In addition, research conducted to analyze the effect of intermittent fasting reveals that it is effective at enhancing health and well-being by promoting autophagy, DNA repair, and mitochondrial health (Mattson et al., 2017). In other words, when fasting, the human body can induce self-eating of cancerous cells or dead cells, fight against mutational stress, and function more effectively in terms of metabolism.
The information in the book deeply impacted my lifestyle and health. As soon as I concluded my research on the subject of fasting and read the book as a guide for effective fasting practices, I became someone who fasts for at least 16 hours per day. I have been adhering to this fasting protocol for a few months and have seen massive improvements in my health and mood. Another benefit is that I have additionally lost excess weight as a result. Thus, my actions and behaviors were profoundly impacted by the book.
Crupi, A. N., Haase, J., Brandhorst, S., & Longo, V. D. (2020). Periodic and intermittent fasting in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Current Diabetes Reports, 20(83), 1-12.
Mattson, M. P., Longo, V. D., & Harvie, M. (2017). Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Ageing Research Reviews, 39, 46-58.
Moore, J., & Fung, J. (2016). The complete guide to fasting: Heal your body through intermittent, alternate-day, and extended fasting. Victory Belt Publishing.