I've been good about strictly taking in 0 calories during my intermittent fasting, but recently, I've decided to embark upon 1 full-day fast every week. Unfortunately, I've also been turned on to the idea of "superfoods"--namely, cacao, bee pollen, & hemp seed-- that had previously been totally absent from my diet. The health benefits of these foods supposedly take root after prolonged, daily exposure to their nutrients.
Long story short, my question is, would I be spoiling my fast if I still took my 30-60 calorie "dosage" of these 3 foods spread out throughout my fasting day?
Depends on why you're fasting. If it's for autophagy and insulin reduction, a little bit of fat, such as MCT oil or coconut oil, or black coffee is fine. This isn't very different from releasing stored fat from your fat cells, so no effect - but avoid dairy as even things like heavy cream contain some protein, which will trigger insulin.
Once you consume protein (BCAAs included), or carbs, you'll trigger insulin and stop autophagy in a dose dependent fashion. That is it depends on the amount. A tiny bit isn't going to cause any problems. But there's a weird effect - if you eat something, you're more likely to get hungrier than not, so you're better off with zero carbs and zero protein while fasting.
Most fasting protocols will use BCAAs to prevent muscle loss - as long as you avoid fasts longer than 12-16h, you won't need them. (BCAAs do spike insulin, that's part of the mechanism that they work by.)
People who haven't been able to fast somehow decided that certain exceptions like butter or coconut oil in coffee is ok as they need the energy. Basically it is a do whatever you want thing. Although I have black coffee I could go without that for a true fast as I do some days but I like it so I drink it.
I really appreciate all your guys' answers. Some thoughts:
Dave Asprey (@bulletproofexec) had a shaman on his podcast last week that said coffee taken in a detoxed state commonly achieved through intermittent fasting can open neural pathways that'd be harder to obtain otherwise. This naturally led to Dave suggesting he try some "Brain Octane" MCT Oil with his coffee, and the shaman (Alberto Villoldo) sounded very eager to add it in to his daily coffee routine. This makes me think fat is not only acceptable in a fasted state, but encouraged, perhaps as an added bonus of ketosis. Villoido also mentioned coconut oil as a specific brain food; in fact, it was the only one he mentioned. Asprey said his company's MCT Oil is 18x the strength of coconut... I'm skeptical, but I plan on finding out.
I read so much about biohacking every day that I don't even remember where I found this info (it might've been on this very site):
a "best answer" breakdown of what the different vitamins & minerals do to help eachother in enzymatic reactions gave me the idea that cacao (magnesium) and coconut oil (mentioned above) would be 2 things that might work together in the HYPER-promotion of brain activity in a fasted state, while also keeping insulin spikes at bay (pure cacao has 0g of sugar, & I haven't checked the nutrition facts of the organic c-nut oil I bought today, yet, but my fingers are crossed that it, too, is low).
I realize I've rambled, but I'm enjoying spit-balling ideas with like-minded members of this community, and I feel like intermittent fasting has led to some of my most innovative states of mind in recent weeks. It can't be a coincidence, and if a little extra special oils in my coffee can take it to the next level, I feel like I owe it to myself to try that.