Do Spirulina or Chlorella Break a Fast? [Intermittent Fasting Tips]
If you're taking spirulina or chlorella, will these break your Intermittent Fast? Today, we're diving into the details of whether or not spirulina or chlorella will break your fast.
Does Spirulina Break a Fast?
Spirulina, a blue-green algae, is often used as a superfood to boost micronutrients, such as copper, iron and various B vitamins. It also contains phycocyanin, which has been found to protect against oxidative damage.(1) Not to mention, spirulina even contains some protein and omega-3 fats, too. So if you're taking spirulina for the variety of studied health benefits, will it break your Intermittent Fast?
The answer comes down to your goal with Intermittent Fasting and how much spirulina you're using.
If your goal with Intermittent Fasting is primarily gut health, anything other than water (and possibly black coffee/unsweetened tea) will break your fast.
However, if you're using Intermittent Fasting to help achieve a weight loss goal, then the focus is on keeping the storing hormone insulin from spiking during the fast.
The foods that cause insulin to spike are primarily carbohydrates (starches and sugars), followed by protein. Fat doesn't have a significant impact on insulin. As a good rule of thumb when fasting for fat loss, you can aim to keep your total carbohydrates and protein under 1 total gram to help ensure that you won't spike insulin and break your fast.
Taking a look at spirulina, it does contain protein as well as carbohydrates. In order to keep it under 1 gram total of carbs and protein, you'll want to keep spirulina under 1/2 teaspoon during the fast.
Does Chlorella Break a Fast?
Chlorella, just like spirulina, is another algae that has been used for a variety of health perks. The main health perk that differentiates chlorella from spirulina is its potential ability to bind to and remove heavy metals from the body.(2)
If you're taking chlorella, will it break your fast? Using the same guidelines as above, we have to take a look at the grams of protein and carbohydrates in chlorella to answer this question.
Chlorella typically comes in a "tablet" form. Four tablets of chlorella will contain around 1 gram of protein. To stay under 1 gram, 3 tablets or less of chlorella can be used during the fast.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition