Intermittent fasting (IF) has been extensively researched and found to provide numerous health advantages, such as weight loss and improved metabolic and brain function.
It’s essential to note, however, that intermittent fasting isn’t suitable for everyone. It is especially not advised for individuals with eating disorders, diabetes or who are already overweight.
Intermittent fasting is an effective way to increase your metabolism and achieve significant weight loss without the hassle of counting calories or restricting food choices. All you need to do is find a fasting schedule that fits within your lifestyle.
Studies suggest intermittent fasting can help people shed up to 3-8% of their initial body weight and 4% of their waist circumference over 3-24 weeks(10)*. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated its benefits on cardiovascular health by lowering blood sugar and triglyceride levels.
*While these studies are encouraging, more research needs to be done. We need more high-quality randomized controlled trials with long-term results.
If you’re trying to shed pounds, a balanced diet with plenty of produce such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein is key. Eating these items will keep your blood sugar stable and help protect you against nutritional deficiencies.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death worldwide and lifestyle modifications like dieting and exercising can help reduce CVD risk.
Intermittent fasting, a dietary plan that involves periodic periods of fasting and unrestricted eating, can improve heart health and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. It reduces blood pressure, increases insulin sensitivity, and lowers cholesterol levels.
Though the precise mechanism remains uncertain, intermittent fasting has been proven to have beneficial effects on multiple cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes.
Intermittent fasting may reduce CVD risk factors by decreasing oxidative stress, synchronizing with the circadian system and inducing ketogenesis. These processes could result in improved glucose and fat metabolism, reduced inflammation and improved insulin sensitivity – all of which contribute to CVD prevention.
The brain is an energetic organ that requires plenty of energy to keep its processes running efficiently. That includes neurotransmitter production, which plays a significant role in communication between neurons.
Fasting causes our body to shift its primary energy source from glucose to ketones, produced when fat is burned. These ketones can increase BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), the protein responsible for producing new brain cells and shielding them from damage.
Research has demonstrated that BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) can enhance cognition and slow the signs of aging in the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Not only does intermittent fasting benefit our cognitive functioning, but it may also aid us in managing conditions like anxiety or depression.
One popular dietary pattern linked to anti-inflammatory effects is intermittent fasting and eating. This diet doesn’t impose any restrictions, so you can enjoy a variety of foods during your fasting periods.
Researchers from Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City discovered that people who followed an intermittent fasting regimen of 24 hours each time and increased levels of galectin-3 – a cellular repair protein – had lower inflammatory markers than those not on such a regimen.
Researchers speculate that their findings may explain why those who follow an eating regimen often report feeling better than those who do not. Furthermore, it suggests that it could reduce inflammation and help protect against conditions like diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to decreasing inflammation, the new study suggests fasting may also help regulate autophagy – an essential process for tissue repair and growth. According to its authors, healthy levels of autophagy are linked with reduced inflammation and disease risk while impaired capacity leads to cancers.
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