In these days of super-sized menus, this excess of food may be increasing obesity rates while decreasing overall life span.Healthy Couple
In these days of super-sized menus, this excess of food may be increasing obesity rates while decreasing overall life span. Nutritionists and dieting experts who claim that eating five or six smaller meals throughout the day are not helping to correct the balance. When it comes to slowing down aging and living longer, it appears that less may be more. Calorie-restricted diets (CRD) are effective for weight loss, anti-aging, and longevity benefits, but these diets are often hard to stick with, often creating intense cravings or nutrient deficits that may produce other health issues. Research shows that intermittent fasting may be as beneficial as calorie restriction when it comes to producing anti-aging and longevity benefits without creating feelings of deprivation associated with the CRD lifestyle.
Intermittent fasting may help to increase insulin sensitivity, reduce the oxidative stress caused by free radicals, offers protection to DNA strands to lengthen lifespan, and provide the same protective benefits as exercise from stress against cellular damage on a molecular level. This can help reduce age-related diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and degenerative brain diseases, as well as offer protection from other diseases such as cancer. The cell-protecting benefits of intermittent fasting can also help reduce free radicals associated with aging of all cells, possibly increasing the time frame that you can look and feel younger as you age.
Intermittent fasting is best done during a period when you will not be fighting the urge to eat, such as during the night. One method is to stop eating after dinner and to eat a very late breakfast or wait until lunch to have your first meal. Try fasting for at least 14 or 16 hours, with an 18 hour fasting interval being optimal. Allow yourself a window of 6 to 8 hours in which to eat a healthy and balanced diet to ensure your body will get the nutrients it needs during the day. If you try intermittent fasting for its potential anti-aging benefits, you may also wish to try to go for longer periods as you learn more about the benefits of fasting.
It is important to note that intermittent fasting does not give you free reign to pig out during your eating period. While your body may need more nutrients to make up for fasting, you should still reduce the amount of refined foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional value. When you choose to fast, it is important to refuel your body with foods that are rich in nutrients, such as fatty fish, eggs and more vegetables than fruits.
Resources & References:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Healthy Aging: Helping People To Live Long and Productive Lives and Enjoy a Good Quality Of Life
Roger Collier (2013); Intermittent fasting: the next big weight loss fad; Canadian Medical Association Journal; 185(8), 321-2. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.109-4437
David Stipp (2012); How Intermittent Fasting Might Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life; Scientific American 308(1)