Eat all that you want one day, cut way back the next. This so-called intermittent fasting diet seems to be trending. It may sound like a great way to lower your hemoglobin A1c as the pounds melt off. But is it a good idea? A new study from New Zealand suggests it might be, while three US doctors who reviewed the findings for EndocrineWeb urge caution, saying there are much better ways to achieve a healthy weight. The New Zealand researchers found the risk of low blood sugar hypoglycemia was increased during the fasting days, as expected, but that the two intermittent fasting plans they tested still managed to produce weight loss and a drop in A1c levels, which is used to assess your risk for diabetes; 1 the study is published in Diabetic Medicine. However, three endocrinology experts who reviewed and commented on the study for EndocrineWeb say other approaches are less hazardous and just as, or more effective in producing a healthy weight loss. Researchers from Wellington Hospital and the University of Otago in New Zealand defined intermittent fasting a bit differently than we do here in the US. Participants could eat whatever they wanted five days a week and then they were instructed to fast for the next two days. In this study, the ”fast” was actually a very low-calorie diet.
Intermittent fasting is a type of eating plan that involves a limited time period when caloric intake is restricted. This can vary from fasting not eating at all all day long for several days per week, to simply limiting the number of calories that are ingested during the fasting period. There are specific intermittent fasting diets, such as those that restrict food intake after a specific time of day usually during the evening hours, to those that rotate between eating normally and restricting a certain number of calories during the day on fasting days. More dramatic fasting diets involve restricting all foods for a complete hour time span, or longer. Fasting has been around for some time, particularly if you consider the historical role of fasting as part of many types of spiritual rituals. More recently, intermittent fasting has been used as part of a healthy diet for weight loss, as part of “detoxifying” the body, and more. But there has been much controversy surrounding the topic of fasting for those with diabetes. Today, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that specific types of intermittent fasting diets may be beneficial for people with diabetes. In addition, scientists are beginning to speculate that when a person fasts may be just as important as the diet itself. Insulin is a hormone that enables glucose sugar —derived from the food we eat—to enter the cells of muscles, stored fat, and the liver, where it is used for energy.
Diet for diabetes fasting
Studies in humans, almost across the board, have shown that IF is safe and incredibly effective, but really no more effective than any other diet. In addition, many people find it difficult to fast. But a growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make IF a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention. IF as a weight loss approach has been around in various forms for ages, but was highly popularized in by BBC broadcast journalist Dr. IF generated a steady positive buzz as anecdotes of its effectiveness proliferated. As a lifestyle-leaning research doctor, I needed to understand the science. Fung successfully combines plenty of research, his clinical experience, and sensible nutrition advice, and also addresses the socioeconomic forces conspiring to make us fat. Check, check, check, I agree. The only part that was still questionable in my mind was the intermittent fasting part. IF makes intuitive sense. The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream.