Obesity is a health risk, so is diabetes. One diet has been shown to modify risk factors associated with the two. What is it?
John Hopkins Medicine neuroscientist Mark Mattson has found the answer.
Published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Mattson writes: “Intermittent fasting could be part of a healthy lifestyle.”
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern whereby somebody alternates between eating and fasting.
This is an age-old adaptation to periods of food scarcity, whereby “cells use up their stores of rapidly accessible, sugar-based fuel, and begin converting fat into energy in a slower metabolic process.”
Mattson adds that metabolic switching improves blood sugar regulation – and uncontrolled blood sugar is symptomatic of diabetes.
He also confirms that metabolic switching increases a person’s resistance to stress and suppresses inflammation,
Other health benefits associated with intermittent fasting has been recorded as decreasing blood pressure, blood lipid levels and resting heart rates.
“Evidence is also mounting that intermittent fasting can modify risk factors associated with obesity and diabetes,” said Mattson.
He based his conclusion on two studies at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust.
One hundred overweight women showed that those on the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet lost the same amount of weight as women who restricted calories.
However, those on the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet had better insulin sensitivity and reduced belly fat than those in the calorie-reduction group.
Mattson noted: “We are at a transition point where we could soon consider adding information about intermittent fasting to medical school curricula alongside standard advice about healthy diets and exercise.”
For those wanting to try out intermittent fasting, Mattson gives a precaution.
“Feeling hungry and irritable is common initially, and usually passes after two weeks to a month as the body and brain become accustomed to the new habit.”
Instead of going straight into intermittent fasting, Mattson advises people to gradually increase the duration and frequency of the fasting period over several months.
Published at Sat, 02 May 2020 10:38:00 +0000