Healthy Living

Why Intermittent Fasting Is Not For Everyone

Intermittent fasting offers a number of health benefits. Numerous studies showed the eating plan could help people increase resistance to stress, improve blood sugar levels and reduce blood pressure and resting heart rates.

Fasting causes changes in metabolism the way how humans adapt to food scarcity. When skipping meals for certain periods of time, the body uses sugar stores and turns fats into energy, MedicalXpress reported

A new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that there are two types of fasting that cause positive changes in the body. One is restricting eating to six to eight hours per day and the other is reducing food to one moderate-sized meal two days each week.

The two eating patterns could help people better manage blood lipid levels, improve their resting heart rates, avoid stress and maintain proper blood sugar levels and blood pressure, according to Mark Mattson, study co-author and a neuroscience professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. 

"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," he said in a statement.

The study backed the findings of earlier research on humans and animals. Intermittent fasting also causes the same metabolism changes in animals and improves their behavior and DNA, according to Gerald Bernstein, program coordinator at the Friedman Diabetes Institute of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Other animal studies also found that intermittent fasting can delay the growth of cancerous tumors and the development of Alzheimer's disease. However, a health expert warned that not all people can enjoy the health benefits of fasting. 

There are certain groups of people should avoid skipping meals. Those people include patients who are not overweight and older adults, said Guy Mintz, director of cardiovascular health and lipidology at Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in New York.

"Intermittent fasting may not be a good diet for diabetic patients on medications and/or insulin that could have swings in blood sugar," he said. "Intermittent fasting is not for older patients. Hypoglycemia needs to be watched, which can lead to falls."

Intermittent fasting Intermittent fasting has been linked to increased resistance to stress, improved blood sugar levels and better blood pressure and resting heart rates. Pixabay

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