When it comes to intermittent fasting and heart health, is it beneficial or can it hurt you? Find out what the studies say.
While there are many studies on rats suggesting the possibilities of intermittent fasting, the results may be different for humans. Even though research points to intermittent fasting being safe and effective for humans, it’s not necessarily more effective than other diets.
Moreover, many find it hard to fast in the first place, so how can it help heart health when you can’t even do it? Fortunately, growing research provides a more realistic approach to intermittent fasting that’s effective and doable.
What is intermittent fasting?
Basically, intermittent fasting (also known as IF) involves fasting at certain periods of the day. It doesn’t focus on the types of foods you should eat and instead focuses on the timing of eating.
In addition, common methods include daily 16 hour fasts as well as fasting for 24 hours, twice a week. Because our ancestors sometimes couldn’t find food as hunter-gatherers, humans can function for a time without eating.
Can IF help with weight loss?
When we eat food, it gets broken down by enzymes, including sugar and refined grains that are used as energy. Our cells use insulin to bring the sugar into our fat cells and keep it there.
If we don’t snack between meals, then insulin levels decrease and fat cells release stored sugar, which is used as energy. Intermittent fasting allows insulin levels to go down enough so that our bodies burn up our fat.
Is intermittent fasting doable?
While some studies suggest that IF is no more effective than other diet plans, new research indicates otherwise. Depending on how you approach IF, there are some reasonable effective and sustainable ways to approach it.
According to a study from the University of Alabama, “early time-restricted feeding” effectively improves insulin sensitivity. As a type of intermittent fasting, this method fits all meals into an early right-hour period of the day.
It can also spread meals over 12 hours (between 7 AM and 7 PM, for example). By changing eating times to earlier in the day, you extend your overnight fasting and can significantly benefit your metabolism.
Does timing really help?
According to an in-depth review in the New England Journal of Medicine, simple fasting can improve metabolism and more. Researchers found that it can also lower blood sugar, decrease inflammation, and even clear out toxins and damaged cells.
Dr. Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, shared some thoughts. “There is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective.”
If you want to improve your heart health, intermittent fasting may help lower blood pressure and help you lose weight. Another thing you can do to improve heart health is taking heart supplements like L-arginine Plus.
Its ingredients work to improve circulation and lower blood pressure while increasing your energy levels. Try L-arginine Plus alongside intermittent fasting to get the vitamins and nutrients you need for better heart health.