Today on the blog we want to talk to you guys about an eating style that has been consistently gaining traction over the past several years in health and wellness communities, and that is intermittent fasting. While it has only become more mainstream recently these practices date back to ancient Roman, Greek and Chinese civilizations as part of either religious or even medicinal purposes. As we are sure you can guess fasting means "to abstain from calorie-containing food or beverage for a specific set of time (usually more than 12 hours)". Intermittent fasting has been shown to have many health benefits and we thought it was about time we shared them here on the blog, but before we dive into those we want to cover some of the most common types of intermittent fasting so here we go:
1) 16/8 Method: This method includes fasting every day for 16 hours and eating in an 8 hour window. This could look like eating from 12pm - 8pm daily and fasting the remainder of the time.
2) 5:2 Diet: For 5 days of the week you may eat normally, however 2 non-consecutive days of the week you restrict your calorie intact to 500-600 calories.
3) Eat-Stop-Eat: Chose 1-2 non-consecutive days of the week to fast for 24 hours, this could look like fasting from after dinner to dinner time the next day.
4)Alternative Day Fasting: Eating only every other day, fasting days try to stay at or under 500 calories for the day.
5) The Warrior Diet: With this method of fasting you would eat only fruits and vegetables during the day and 1 large meal in the evening.
There you have it the most common types of intermittent fasting. Now that we have that out of the way we can dive into the health benefits. When you don't eat for a certain amount of time changes in the body begin to happen and some of them actually have health benefits associated with them. These changes include hormone level changes, cell repair and even gene expression changes.
Reduced Insulin Resistance & Improved Blood Sugar Balance
When your cells don't respond well to insulin and don't easily take glucose in then the pancreas needs to work overtime creating more insulin. Over time this can lead to insulin resistance. Studies indicate that after a period of fasting insulin sensitivity increases and insulin levels decrease. In fact evidence of intermittent fasting reducing insulin resistance and improving blood sugar balance is so promising that it is being studied for it's effectiveness at treating pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Improved Heart Health
Studies show that intermittent fasting can help improve many risk factors associated with heart disease. In fact it has been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as decrease blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
Help Reduce Oxidative Stress in the Body
Oxidative stress has been linked to many diseases including cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, and even cancer. Studies suggest that intermittent fasting may help reduce oxidative stress in the body which in turn could reduce your chances of suffering from these diseases.
There are many health benefits to intermittent fasting we just outlined a few here. As always we don't share this information to diagnose or treat any illness or diseases and suggest that you do your own research and speak to your health care practitioner or doctor before implementing any new health habits.
Until next time,