Fasting: This Dietary Discipline May Produce More Benefits Than Weight Loss, Study Says

fast-mimicking-dietBy: Tamiya King

A new study reveals that fasting on a regular basis can provide more health benefits than losing a few pounds. Researchers are suggesting that fasting regularly can also reduce the risk of certain chronic illnesses and improve overall longevity.

A research team with professionals from Italy and the U.S. tested a diet that was low in protein and low in calories. The diet mimics what happens in the body during a fast. The research team observed that following this type of diet for at least five days a month and at least three days in a row could do wonders for the body.

Those who participated in the study had a significant reduction in the development of Type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart diseases when the study was over.

Diet and nutrition professionals, as well as those who diet often, are aware of the benefits of intermittent fasting. When less food is entering the body, the body can access fat storages and accelerate weight loss. In the past, these types of dietary studies were performed on mice. Advocates for fasting claimed that the diet would have a similar effect on humans by increasing the chances of long life and keeping diseases at bay.

A recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism provides encouraging news to support these notions. Thirty-four people were monitored during the study, and 19 of these individuals tested the Fasting Mimicking Diet or FMD, while the remainder of the people ate a regular diet.

Even with the assumption that the FMD is effective, researchers have not presented the diet as a magic cure that can instantly aid in weight loss and longevity. Those who participated in the Fasting Mimicking Diet did have slimmer waistlines at the three months. There was also a reduction in blood sugar and heart disease risk factors.

The medical community in general acknowledges that fasting diets have the ability to provide necessary calories without giving the body substances that can accelerate the aging process, according to Professor Valter Longo, one of the researchers who worked on this dietary study.

All researchers aren’t in agreement about the FMD or diets that require followers to make drastic dietary changes on a regular basis for short intervals of time. Some professionals assert that these diets put the metabolism into shock and can interrupt healthy sleep patterns. They also believe that the FMD is too restrictive overall, and that some cancer and aging markers were unaffected when certain people followed the diet.

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