If you’ve long had an interest in healthy living and diet health trends, you may have already heard about intermittent fasting. When this first came into being, naturally, the skeptics thought that it was only a fad that’s not going to last. But, apparently, they’re wrong. Intermittent fasting has stayed, and it’s only proven to become even more successful with the health benefits that it brings.

Intermittent fasting refers to cycling between periods of fasting and eating. Apart from merely just losing weight, intermittent fasting has many health benefits. To name a few, these include the following:

  1. Helps Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Intermittent fasting can help patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes manage their condition better. For patients with this type of diabetes, the key is in creating lifestyle changes. This means living a healthier lifestyle through a balanced and more controlled diet, coupled with exercise. With intermittent fasting, you’re essentially giving your body a balanced and controlled diet, only because you’re limiting the hours that you’re putting in food into your system.

With intermittent fasting, most people fast for 16 hours a day and eat in between a period of 8 hours. Because of your controlled timeframe of taking in food, naturally, you’re able to feed yourself with a healthier diet.

Through fasting for Type 2 Diabetes, these effects are found to be successful:

  • Losing weight
  • Lowering blood glucose level
  • Lower blood pressure
  1. Combats Obesity

Another pronounced health condition that’s addressed by intermittent fasting is obesity. This refers to the population who are way above the recommended weight for their body type.

First, intermittent fasting limits the number of hours in a day that you can take in food. Hence, it lessens the amount of food that you may have gotten used to eating. So, the direct result is that you lose weight.

Second, intermittent fasting isn’t just about controlling the timeframe that you take in food. It’s also about limiting the types of food that you take in. Here, you’re encouraged to practice healthy eating and avoid junk food. Note that the consumption of unhealthy food can increase the chances of excessive weight gain.

Intermittent fasting diet primarily focuses on:

  • Healthful fats from olives, olive oil, nuts, seeds, fish and avocado
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean protein sources such as poultry, eggs, fish, cheese, and beans or lentils
  • Whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, and barley
  1. Reduce The Incidence Of Heart Problems

With intermittent fasting, you’re more conscious about what food comes in your body. Henceforth, you’re also reducing your body weight and the presence of unhealthy fat. When this happens, your heart health also improves. This is precisely due to people who go on intermittent diet fasting show better self-control over the calories that they take in. When you get used to this kind of lifestyle, even when you’re no longer fasting, you become more conscious about your eating choices.

Here are other ways that intermittent fasting can help people suffering from heart problems:

  • Fasting can improve the way that your body metabolises sugar and bad cholesterol
  • Fasting can decrease the LDL levels in your body or the bad cholesterol
  1. Improves Mental Health And Mental Function

Another one of the health benefits that intermittent fasting can bring relates to an improvement in mental health and mental function. Intermittent fasting can help clear your mind and improve your brain function.

First, too much intake of sugar may sometimes actually lead you to become more depressed. Yes, it gives you that temporary spike of energy. But this is only very quick and fleeting. Once this feeling dies down, you feel weak and lazy to go about with your day. Hence, instead of improving your physical activity and productivity, you only end up slacking even more. This can lead to sad days, wherein you’re pressured by the fact that you’re not doing anything enough. When, in fact, you caused that upon yourself.

Second, because you’re limiting the intake of food in your body, you’re enabling your body to go through a phase known as metabolic switching. This can help improve your brain’s resistance to injury and disease.

Conclusion

Health experts would say that intermittent fasting isn’t a new concept. It’s been around for so many years now, and has also been an ancient secret of health. the point isn’t about food deprivation or starvation. It’s about giving your body only what it needs, and nothing in excess. If done right, intermittent fasting can provide many health benefits, as aptly enumerated above. But, before you jump right into it, a good tip for you to keep in mind still is to ask for the advice of a medical professional. That way, you know you stay safe while you fast.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Intermittent Fasting: How It Helps Manage Different Health Conditions," in Medicalopedia, March 15, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8479/intermittent-fasting-how-it-helps-manage-different-health-conditions/].