Fasting has become increasingly popular over the last few years and not only associated with the holy month of Ramadan. Over 1.6 Billion Muslims will partake in the month of Ramadan this month where they will fast between sunrise and sunset. For Muslims, fasting isn’t about health or losing weight, it’s a declaration of faith. There have been a number of studies over the past few years that look into the health benefits of fasting or intermittent fasting. Here is a review of some of the benefits and drawbacks of intermittent fasting.
Helps reduce weight
There are a lot of diet plans out there and most of them talk about reducing your calorific intake and replace meals. The problem is that when the diet is over and you have reached your goal it is easy to go back to old habits and put the weight back on. Intermittent fasting is more of a lifestyle change and a slow burn diet. One of the most popular intermittent fasting diets is the 5:2 plan. Here you eat normally for 5 days and reduce your calorie intake for the other 2. There are many ways you can do this, you can eat nothing for 24 hours or reduce calorie intake to just drink fluids or very light meals. Obviously your 2 days shouldn’t be back to back, spread them throughout the week.
Blood Pressure, Insulin and Cholesterol
Numerous studies have show that intermittent fasting will help reduce Cholesterol. And Insulin which helps break down body fat and boost your energy. Furthermore, intermittent fasting can reduce the body’s resistance to insulin which significantly lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. Intermittent fasting has shown to relieve stress and high blood pressure that are both key risks for heart disease. When we fast a few days a week the body goes through a process that renews old cells and provides protection against various diseases.
Effect on the Brain
Intermittent fasting can help the brain recover quickly and stay healthy. Reduction in blood sugar and reduced inflammation increase your brain hormones which will keep you alert and focused. As well as helping the brain it prevents diseases that affect the brain such as Alzheimer’s. Fasting can help delay the onset of this degenerative disease.