Feb 17, 2017 01:06 AM EST
Fasting has been associated with healthy living though there has been no scientific evidence to back the claim. However, a recent study by the University of Southern California observes that Intermittent fasting may hold the key to healthier living.
According to Forbes, the study looks at how intermittent fasting affects the human body and certain health hazards. It shows pretty encouraging signs, helpful in decreasing body weight. Intermittent Fasting is also a good way to lessen the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Some people, though, differ with the opinion whether it is better than the old way of keeping a healthy weight, eating well and exercising.
The study team had 100 people who carried on with their regular diets for three months, or choosing the Intermittent Fasting way of normal eating for most of the month and then a semi-fasting diet for five days. The participants were not fasting during these five days, rather eating a "ProLon" diet, developed by the head of the study team, Valter Longo. It included energy bars, energy drinks, vegetable based soups and supplements low in sugars and proteins but high in unsaturated fats good for the health.
In the process, it was seen that the people undergoing Intermittent fasting had significant changes. They lost 5.7 pounds on an average, with lower levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a cancer-linked hormone and an inflammatory protein known as the C-Reactive Protein (CRP). They were also found to have lower body mass index (BMI), trunk fat, waist circumference, blood pressure and cholesterol.
According to CNN, Intermittent Fasting is not the same for everyone. One of the common fasting systems is the 5:2 diet, which sees people doing restrictive calorie eating during two non-consecutive days and eating with no restriction on calories. Another way of fasting is to do it on a day-to- day basis, eating during a specific time window.
Intermittent dieting focuses on when to eat rather than what to eat. While some people might drink black coffee and green juice on their fasting days, others can opt for 500 calories intake during the fasting period. An intake of huge amount of calories during the non-dietary days during Intermittent Fasting can backfire for a lot of not so conscious people.
Intermittent fasting has a number of benefits. Despite the benefits, it is advisable to consult a doctor before undergoing the fasting regimen to avoid any kind of health issues.