Before starting intermittent fasting (IF) I did a lot of research. One of the things I wanted to know was if intermittent fasting is healthy. I found a lot of resources supporting the health benefits but not much of anything saying it was unhealthy. There have been a lot of studies lately exploring intermittent fasting, almost all good. The thing is, like I said last week, if someone digs deep enough, he or she can always find support for positive or negative. I encourage you to do your own research and see if intermittent fasting is for you or not.
As for the information I did find, a lot of it was technical and detailed, especially in regard to the insulin resistance. In short, though, intermittent fasting has been known to increase life span and fight the effects of aging, fight cancer, “increase neuronal plasticity and promote neurogenesis” (a.k.a. good for brain health) and has positive effects on your lipid profile (cholesterol).
I have to confess, I don’t have any personal “documented proof” that intermittent fasting is healthy. For a LONG time I wasn’t able to go to a doctor because we didn’t have health insurance; so I don’t have a starting baseline as to where I was “level wise” before intermittent fasting and now. (We finally have insurance so I’ll be going soon, so I will use that as a comparison in the future.
Having said that, I have lost 30 pounds and losing weight is known to have positive results on a person’s health. I have so much more energy than before and I just feel better all around. That may not be scientific, but I’m happy with my results with IF so far.
Here are a few websites that talk about the health benefits of intermittent fasting. They all talk about 24 hour fasts and the “Eat, Stop, Eat” methods of fasting but I also recommend you getting the free Fast-5 e-book. The e-book goes into detail about the benefits of fasting, particularly the Fast-5 method (the plan I follow).
Mark’s Daily Apple (FYI: Mark also follows a “primal” diet that I don’t know much about, but it is mentioned in this post quite a bit.)
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Scientific study)
I hope this little series has helped you get a grasp of the basic concepts and benefits of IF. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me privately (carol @ simplecatholicliving dot com).