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Dr. Cinque's FAQ page
Frequently Asked Questions
What about water fasting vs. juice fasting? Which is better?
I believe that water fasting is much to be preferred. And, one mustn't assume that water fasting is more difficult. Juices sometimes have the effect of whetting a person's appetite and reminding them that they haven't eaten. In contrast, a total water-only fast allows ketosis to set in which suppresses appetite. Believe me, we couldn't get people to fast for weeks at a time, as we do, if they were constantly hungry. Also, consuming juices prevents the adapatations to fasting that the body makes when it is on a total water-only fast. The result is that it is actually more conserving to fast on water than on juices. Really, a juice fast should be called a juice diet because that is what it is. For myself personally, I would only consider doing a water fast. However, we sometimes have to settle for juice fasting with our guests; for instance, sometimes a person is taking one or more mdications which cannot be discontinued, which prevents them from water-fasting. As a rule, we do not want people taking drugs while doing a complete fast. It is something I would allow only if the person's physician approved and was involved. For most people, water fasting is definitely to be preferred over juice fasting.
What about colon cleansing during fasting? Many fasting places offer it, but what say you?
I am opposed to the use of enemas, colonics, and other purging practices while fasting- and at other times. People have the wrong idea about the colon. It's not about getting your colon ultra-clean..It is a waste conduit, a sewer, so it doesn't have to be that clean. What you want for your colon is for it to be normal, that is to function normally, healthfully, and optimally. But, you can't get to normal by taking enemas and colonics. They are inherently abnormal. And they are very disruptive. I have never met a gastroenterologist yet who advocated such practices, and I have spoken to many. So, whether you are eating or fasting, leave your colon alone. There is no reason to fool with it. Remember what Dr. John Tilden used to say: "Mind your own business, and let your colon mind its." If you want to do something constructive for your colon that may be helpful, it's fine to take a good probiotic (friendly bacteria). However, it would be pointless to do so while fasting. You can do it after the fast. But, don't be hosing down your colon . None of the chambers of the body were meant to be irrigated. You are not going to establish a healthy balance that way. You do not irrigate your bladder, and you have no need to irrigate your colon.
What about eating an all-raw diet?
I think it's important to emphasize raw foods and make them a big part of the diet. However, to restrict ourselves to only raw foods is a form of dietary extremism that I neither practice nor endorse. Keep in mind that the so-called advantages to eating an all-raw diet are entirely theoretical and philosophical. There are no good practical reasons to do it. Many foods, including some of the most important vegetables, are more digestible cooked than raw. Broccoli is a good example. I'm well aware that wild animals do not cook their foods, but that is not sufficient reason for a human being to refrain from cooking. And the fact that some nutrients are destroyed by cooking is not an important consideration either. Read "Diet and Nutrition" by Dr. Rudolph Ballantine. He makes the valid point that when it's time to eat green beans, that raw, he can eat 1, maybe 2, but cooked he can eat a whole bowlful, and the total nutrition of that larger serving of cooked green beans exceeds the value of one or two raw beans. And there are other issues that make those cooked green beans a better, more digestible choice. Remember, it's what you utilize that matters. So, I say don't get overly philosophical about food. Eat raw fruits, raw salad vegetables, and raw nuts, seeds, and avocadoes. But, eat some cooked vegetables and legumes and perhaps some cooked brown rice. They are all good foods, and I do believe that the broader mixed diet of raw and cooked is superior.
What about eating an ultra-low fat diet, such as the McDougall Plan?
I am opposed to it. It is perfectly natural and normal for a human being to eat some fat. I'll add that it is just as normal for humans to eat fats as it is for them to eat carbs. Half the calories in human breast milk are fat. Therefore, our very first experience in life with food involves fat. Recent research (from 2010) discovered that humans have specific taste-buds for fats, which are very sensitive. It's our very nature to hone-in on fats. What do you think happened when a caveman stumbled upon a pistachio nut tree? Do you think he worried about fats being bad? So, why fight it? You're fighting your own nature. Istead, be very careful about which fats you eat. The best fats are raw nuts, raw seeds, and avocadoes. A little extra virgin olive oil, used sparingly, can be a good thing too. I eat it, and I'm thin. The important thing is to distinguish "good fats" from "bad fats" and control the total fat content of your diet. That's what I do, and I stay lean. I weigh the same now at 65 as I did at 30.
Can fasting relieve pain?
It depends on what is causing the pain. If pain is due to inflammation, then fasting is likely to relieve it since fasting helps resolve inflammation. Fasting is usually effective at resolving chronic headaches. I have also seen fasting resolve chronic backaches. It makes sense to fast when you are in pain because you're not usually hungry. Who really feels like eating when they are in pain?
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