Meaning of Fasting
What is fasting:
Fasting is the action of fasting or not eating food. A prolonged fast causes a lack of nutrients and energy sources that can cause changes in the structure and function of the organs and even death.
Fasting can be done for different reasons:
- Fasting to lose weight. There is a belief that to lose weight you must fast. However, it can cause serious health problems and is associated with eating disorders such as anorexia. There are other more recommended weight loss methods that do not include fasting.
- Spiritual fasting. It is done for religious or spiritual reasons. Some examples of fasting associated with religious beliefs are fasting during Yon Kippur and fasting or sawm (صَوْم) during the month of Ramadan.
- Fasting for a blood test. Certain types of medical tests are performed "on an empty stomach." It is due to physiological reasons, since it is intended to obtain a sample "under normal conditions" and some parameters change after eating food, for example, cholesterol or transaminases. It is also because the reference values are standardized from analyzes of the healthy and fasting population.
Fast of daniel
The Daniel fast is a type of spiritual fast. It is based on fruits, vegetables and water and is based on an Old Testament text, in the Book of Daniel: "In those days, I, Daniel, was afflicted for three weeks. I did not eat delicate delicacies; neither meat nor meat entered my mouth. it came, nor did I anoint myself with ointment, until the three weeks were up. " (Dan 10: 2-3)
Prayer and fasting
Traditionally, in some cultures fasting is associated with spirituality as a form of sacrifice, penance, spiritual strength in the face of temptations, cleansing of impurities and provokes a state of predisposition to prayer.
In the Catholic tradition there are examples in the Bible of fasting. For example, in this passage from the Gospel according to Luke:
"And Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days and the devil put him to the test. He did not eat anything during those days, so afterwards he was hungry." (Lk 4: 1-2)
In Catholic doctrine, fasting is considered to have only one main meal a day and two more small meals that do not exceed the main meal altogether. This should be done on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Abstinence is not eating red meat. Abstinence days are all Friday and Ash Wednesday. There are some dispensations and commutations established in Canon Law. These forms of penance may vary as they are established by the Episcopal Conference of each country.
The word breakfast originally means the opposite of "fasting". It is commonly applied to the feeding that takes place at the beginning of the day and that ends the fasting period during the hours of sleep.
Other reasons for fasting
Fasting, on occasions, can also be used as a form of protest, known as a hunger strike. In some currents of natural medicine, fasting is used to combat some diseases.