Intermittent fasting supposedly helps reduce weight and improve overall health. In this, there are periods of eating and fasting. This fasting is of two types: clean fasting and dirty fasting. What do these terms mean?
There are several diet trends that are popular in the world. Most of these are for shedding the excess weight. And some are for improving overall health. Intermittent fasting is one such diet trend. It is assumed that food itself can cause problems. Hence the best way to health is to let the gut rest for a while before refeeding. During this time, the body starts using stored glycogen and fats for energy production. And this fat burning helps lose weight and improve health.
One can follow time-restricted fasting. In this, the dieter eats only during a specified window period of the day. Usually this is 8 hours. The remaining 16 hours of the day is no or little food or fasting. Intermittent fasting can be clean fasting or dirty fasting.
Clean fasting vs dirty fasting
Most of the time, during fasting, the dieter eats nothing. But traditionally, certain zero calories drinks are allowed. These include water, black tea or black coffee or unsweetened herbal tea. When a person follows this principle, it is clean fasting.
Whereas, in dirty fasting there is time restriction on the time that a person can eat. But during fasting, the intake is not limited to only drinks. Also, it is not zero calories fasting. Instead the person takes small amount of solid foods or drinks but with some calories in it. Up to 100 calories are allowed in it. This is dirty fasting.
And the goal in dirty fasting is to slightly vary from fasting. But also achieve the good benefits of fasting. In this, the amount consumed during fasting is so less that the body still enters into physiological or molecular fasting and reaps its benefits. But at the same time, the person is also happy with the food intake during fasting. Ketosis results and so does fat burning.
Rules of dirty fasting
There are certain rules linked with dirty fasting. But these vary. Some websites mention that any kind of foods or beverages are allowed during dirty fasting as long as the calories intake does not exceed 100 calories. Whereas there are others who recommend only high fat foods at this time in order to prevent insulin spike.
And there are others who state that artificial sweeteners can be taken. But a study in Physiology and Behavior in 2017 showed that artificial sweeteners can raise insulin levels with mere tasting as well. There are some advocates of dirty fasting that insist on consumption of high protein foods such as bone broth and collagen at this time.
But this too can trigger insulin and metabolism. But, the concepts of dirty fasting are only theories and there is no scientific backing to them.
Nonetheless, the flexibility of this type of fasting helps people stay on the track of the diet and enjoy it. Some studies reveal that limited calories during fasting does not disturb the basis of fasting and hence it is OK to do dirty fasting. But research in this direction is limited. But as long as there is molecular fasting state with little nibbling with fasting it would serve the purpose.
But try to eat healthy during the non-fasted state. Strike a proper balance between restricting and nourishing.