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Greek Orthodox fasting. Benefits and traps.


The fasting before Easter is an integral part for many people as it is linked to Greek's religion.

Have you ever wonder the benefits and pitfalls that can be hidden behind the 50 days of abstinence from the non-fasting food groups?


Benefits:


  • Better eating habits: increased intake of fruits and vegetables, legumes, vegetable oils. Low intake of saturated and monounsaturated fats which contribute to lower blood pressure levels (less processed foods and alcohol)

  • Better bowel function (due to fiber). Lowering blood lipids (total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides) in people with high values.

  • Better blood glucose regulation due to high fiber intake (provided extensive consumption of refined carbohydrates, e.g. white bread) is not observed.

  • Reduced uric acid (less protein especially of animal origin, alcohol in moderation, possible weight loss). A reduction in the risk of various forms of cancer due to a high intake of plant-based foods and a reduced intake of animal foods.

  • Weight loss: People who regularly fast and observe all the associated religious traditions (temperance, austerity, avoiding abuses, engaging in the cultivation of the soul), seem to have a lower weight. However, we can have the opposite effect if the person does not control the consumption of starchy foods (bread, pasta) and fatty foods (olive oil, fried foods, nuts).

  • Psychological benefits: moral satisfaction, sobriety, feeling of 'purification' of the body, feeling of mental upliftment, reduction of depression symptoms.

Traps:


  • Weight gain by the end of the fasting period, due to the overconsumption of foods rich in carbohydrates, sugar and fat.

  • Low protein intake resulting in a constant hunger.

  • Low intake of calcium and vitamin D: In the long term it can contribute to the reduction of bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis). Low intake of iron, vitamin B12: In the long term it can lead to iron deficiency or anemia (iron deficient or megaloblastic).


Do you need help losing weight or improving your eating habits?

I will be very happy if you contact me.



Tania L.

EasyFit Rehab Instructor

IBBFA Barre Instructor Level 1,2,3,PrePostNatal

Barre Eclipse Instructor

ISSA Certified Nutritionist

ISSA Certified Personal Trainer.

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