Will it Break My Fast? | Part II
Mar 11, 2020
It’s still the question we see most frequently: “Does [insert item] break my fast?” So we decided a Part II to our first post was in order. Let’s dig in to find out if fish oil, herbs/spices, CBD oil, or BCAAs break your fast.
Fish oil itself is a fat, which contains 9 kcal per gram. The average dose of a supplement is anywhere between 1-2 grams, so if you take fish oil, your body will need to metabolize those calories. However, fat doesn’t stimulate insulin release, and the 9-18 kcal that the fish oil provides has minimal to no impact on your body’s ability to break down its own fat stores.
That being said, fish oil is a polyunsaturated fatty acid, which has to be digested and absorbed. Meaning—you guessed it—the gut will be stimulated after taking fish oil.
Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. The molecules have been shown to decrease inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin 1 (IL-1), Il-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3 fatty acid consumption is positively associated with the reduction of risk for many other chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. Some studies have even shown that both EPA and DHA (fatty acids found in fish oil) may induce autophagy.
- Fasting for metabolic health: fish oil likely doesn’t break a fast
- Fasting for gut rest: fish oil does break a fast
- Fasting for longevity: fish oil likely doesn’t break a fast
Herbs and Spices
Most herbs and spices have fewer than 5 calories per teaspoon and have almost no impact on blood sugar levels or your fat burning ability. However, watch out for ingredients that often accompany herbs and spices, like sugar or those found in fat emulsions. Herb/spice blends that have sugar raise blood sugar levels and elicit an insulin response. Other blends mixed with fat have a higher caloric content. To play it safe, stick to pure herbs and spices, either fresh or dried.
Herbs and spices come from plants, so the majority of calories they have are from carbohydrates with a small percentage of protein. Roughly half the carbohydrates are fiber, which is undigested, but a small portion of the carbs that remain will slightly stimulate the gut for digestion and absorption.
The minimal calories and protein found in herbs and spices alone probably aren’t enough to inhibit autophagy. There are even a few studies that show promise with specific herbs promoting or enhancing autophagy.
- Fasting for metabolic health: herbs and spices don’t break a fast
- Fasting for gut rest: herbs and spices do break a fast
- Fasting for longevity: herbs and spices likely don’t break a fast
Since CBD oil is fat, and fat alone will not kick someone out of ketosis, CBD oil is likely fine to have while fasting if your goal is metabolic health or weight loss. As long as the CBD oil doesn’t have any added sugar or another source of carbs, it doesn’t stimulate insulin (stimulating insulin will derail ketosis and fat break down).
If you consume your CBD oil orally and swallow it, it’s digested, absorbed in the small intestine, and transported into the liver to be metabolized. (The oil also usually has calories and fat that need to be broken down, too.) Therefore, CBD oil stimulates your metabolism and gut.
One benefit of fasting is reduced inflammation, and as it turns out, one common reason people consume CBD oil is for its positive effect on inflammation. A few studies have also shown a positive impact with CBD and its role in autophagy. So if you’re fasting for longevity, CBD oil shouldn’t derail the benefits of your fast.
- Fasting for metabolic health: CBD oil likely doesn’t break a fast
- Fasting for gut rest: CBD oil does break a fast
- Fasting for longevity: CBD oil likely doesn’t break a fast
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
If you exercise, you might consume BCAAs, which promote muscle protein synthesis. They have also been shown to have positive effects on body composition and glucose levels. However, if body composition and/or fat loss is your goal, make sure to choose sugar-free BCAA mixes without additional carbohydrates.
All amino acids are digested and absorbed in the small intestine. In addition to that, almost all BCAA mixes contain additional ingredients outside of the BCAAs, most of which will also need to be digested and absorbed.
If autophagy is your goal, then protein supplements and BCAAs break a fast. When you fast, growth pathways like IGF-1 and mTOR are suppressed, which is needed for autophagy to occur. If you consume protein during your fast, specifically BCAAs such as leucine, you will stimulate these pathways and inhibit autophagy.
- Fasting for metabolic health: BCAAs likely don’t break a fast
- Fasting for gut rest: BCAAs do break a fast
- Fasting for longevity: BCAAs do break a fast
Surprised by one of these? Let us know what you thought in the comments, and request other items for us to cover in this series.
Will it Break My Fast? | Part II Mar 11, 2020 It’s still the question we see most frequently: “Does [insert item] break my fast?” So we decided a Part II to our first post was in order.
Will CBD Oil Break My Fast?
You can consume CBD oil at any time of the day, but for individuals practising intermittent fasting, you may be wondering how the cannabinoid comes into play. Will it break your fast, or will it synergise with it? To answer both questions, we first need to take a closer look at the concept of intermittent fasting and how it affects the body.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) involves eating during a restricted window to encourage a fasted state. Despite first appearances, intermittent fasting is not a diet—you aren’t limited in food type or calories. Instead, think of intermittent fasting as more of a strict eating schedule.
Intermittent fasting has gained a significant following because of its relative simplicity and its associated benefits. When our body is in a fasted state, its metabolic processes change, using fat as its primary source of energy.
To initiate intermittent fasting, you first need to decide upon an eating window that fits your lifestyle. Fortunately, there are several options to choose from.
Choosing an eating window
Your “eating window” is an allotted time to do just that—eat. However, it isn’t enough to leave a few hours between meals. For our body to enter a fasted state, ideally you need to go at least 12 hours between your last and first meal.
Although you can try 24 and 48-hour fasts, the most popular options are 16/8 and 18/6 splits. The former allows eight hours to eat, followed by an sixteen-hour fast, while the latter is stricter with only a six-hour eating window.
You can start your eating window at whatever time fits your schedule, but you’ll want to spread it across the bulk of your day to help keep any temptation to snack under control. This usually means starting your eating window around midday.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
There is an abundance of research supporting the benefits of intermittent fasting. That being said, you must consider your current lifestyle and whether intermittent fasting is suitable for you specifically.
A 2019 review titled “Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease” does an excellent job of explaining the impact, but to summarise, possible benefits include:
• Weight loss
• Improved insulin sensitivity
• Mental clarity
• Heightened antioxidant production
• Reduced hunger cravings
Will CBD oil break a fast?
Ultimately, the answer depends on what type of CBD oil you consume, and how. Assuming you take CBD oil with an olive oil carrier, then several drops won’t break your fast.
However, if you are taking higher doses, or consuming CBD edibles, then the greater calorie count and sugar content will likely disrupt your fasting period.
It’s important to remember that there isn’t any dedicated research looking at how CBD could change the body’s metabolic response during a fast. Some fasters advocate zero calories during a fast (that means no CBD oil), while others state that 50 calories or less is fine and won’t break a fast.
If you’re confused about how to incorporate CBD oil into intermittent fasting, don’t worry. We’ll cover several ways you can add CBD to your daily regime. But, before we do, you’re probably wondering, does CBD oil support intermittent fasting?
How does CBD oil support intermittent fasting?
CBD oil has been shown to reduce food consumption in animals. Although in some cases this may be an undesirable side effect, the outcome is ideally suited to intermittent fasting.
There’s also the cannabinoid’s role in digestion to consider. When you do eat, you want your body to process food efficiently, with little irritation. CBD may support healthy digestion thanks to its soothing effects, while also promoting natural bowel movements.
Click the link to find out what intermittent fasting is, how it works, and most importantly, whether CBD oil will break your fast or benefit it.