Is Intermittent Fasting Safe? Examining the Potential Benefits and Risks.
Intermittent fasting has grown in popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits and flexible approach to eating. It is a broad range of diets that involve periods of fasting or restricted calorie intake, followed by periods of unrestricted eating. Research has shown that intermittent fasting may help treat obesity, heart disease, and even some neurodegenerative disorders. However, the health benefits are not guaranteed, and there are potential side effects.
In a recent study published in the journal Appetite, researchers from Texas A&M University found a link between intermittent fasting and binge eating disorder. The study included data from almost 300 undergraduate college students, 24% of whom were actively engaged in the diet. The study found that those who had engaged in intermittent fasting in the past were more likely to binge-eat than those who had never tried it.
Intermittent fasting may lead to weight loss, as it involves restricting calorie intake during certain windows of time. However, a traditional diet of smaller portions and fewer large meals is the best way to lose weight, according to a study from Johns Hopkins University.
Intermittent fasting may also improve insulin sensitivity, which can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. Scientists in China found that 55% of participants experienced diabetes remission after engaging in intermittent fasting, and they discontinued their diabetes medication and maintained it for at least one year.
On the other hand, there are potential side effects of intermittent fasting that must be considered. It can result in malnutrition due to the focus on timing rather than food choice. People may also experience rebound binging after severe caloric restriction. Additionally, it is not recommended for everyone and can lead to eating disorders and fertility issues.
Before deciding to start intermittent fasting, it is important to speak to a doctor to determine if it is the right approach for you. Additionally, make sure to monitor your eating patterns and be mindful of any signs of disordered eating. If done correctly, intermittent fasting may provide some health benefits.
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