Jennifer Aniston, Chris Hemsworth are fans of intermittent fasting – and it may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes; Experts say when and what you eat also matters

Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman and Chris Hemsworth have more in common than fame. These Hollywood stars have also tried or followed intermittent fasting to stay fit and improve their overall health.

In short IF is called, intermittent fasting It is a dietary approach that alternates between periods of eating and fasting.

If practitioners limit their eating periods to a few hours a day or a few days a week, they voluntarily fast the rest of the time.

During periods of fasting, the body does not have enough glucose for energy, so it breaks down stored fat, a process called ketosis.

Intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance and blood sugar levels. Photo: Shutterstock

The benefits of IF are well documented. In addition to weight loss, it is found:

  • Reduces inflammation and improves conditions associated with inflammation such as arthritis;

  • Protect the heart;

  • Boost brain function;

  • Cancer prevention;

  • Relief from digestive problems;

  • Increase life expectancy; And

  • reduce the risk of diabetes type 2 By reducing insulin resistance and blood sugar levels.

But it seems that when you eat also matters, especially with regard to risk markers of type 2 diabetes. A recent Australian study found that a fasting diet that focuses on eating early in the day could be the key to reducing the risk of developing the disease.

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For the study, which included more than 200 participants and lasted 18 months, researchers from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Institute of Health and Medical Research compared two different diets, a time-restricted, intermittent fasting diet and a low-calorie diet, to see which diet is more beneficial for people who are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

This study was published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine.

While participants on both diets experienced the same amount of weight loss, those who fasted three days during the week, eating only between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. on those days, lost six more calories than those on a daily, low-calorie diet. Showed greater tolerance to glucose after a month. Diet. Diet according to senior author, Professor Leonie Heilbron of the University of Adelaide.

Professor Leonie Heilbronn is from the University of Adelaide. Photo: University of Adelaide

“Participants following the intermittent fasting diet were more sensitive to insulin and also experienced greater reductions in blood lipids than those following the low-calorie diet,” they said.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when cells in the body’s muscle, fat and liver become resistant to insulin, resulting in inadequate absorption of glucose from the bloodstream and increased blood sugar levels, says the Lifestyle Management Center in Hong Kong. says dietitian Mia Holm, manager of. Adventist Hospital.

Type 2 diabetes has a hereditary component, but family history One of the many risk factors for the disease. Holm says that inactivity, being overweight or obese, and excess body fat, especially around the abdomen, are factors that make a person at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Dietitian Mia Holm, manager of the Lifestyle Management Center at Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, says plant-based foods are more satisfying than refined and processed foods. Photo: Mia Holm

Alice Kong, a professor in the department of medicine and therapeutics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, says while the differences between the two Australian study groups went away after 18 months, the study highlights the benefits of a new dietary approach to traditional medicine.

“It is too early to say that this approach is any better than the traditional approach calorie restriction (Regarding glucose tolerance). As you can see, the effects wore off at 18 months, and the long-term effects of IF and time-restricted diets have not been proven.
“It’s not just when or how often we eat, but also what and how much we eat, and staying consistent with these habits can help us maintain a healthy lifestyle and eat less . We are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes,
Alice Kong, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, says that it is not just a matter of when or how often we eat, but also what and how much we eat.

If you want to try IF, Holm says it’s easiest to start with the 12:12 fasting-eating pattern — fasting for 12 hours and eating for 12 hours. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can gradually increase it to 14:10 and then 16:8.

“According to various studies, skipping dinner is better than skipping breakfast, as eating breakfast supports healthy circadian rhythms,” she adds.

“For people who want to be in sync with their circadian rhythm, eating between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. may be an ideal schedule. If skipping dinner isn’t possible, I recommend consuming most of your calories during the day, eating a light dinner, and eating at least three to four hours before bed.

Both the American and Canadian Diabetes Associations advocate a whole-food, plant-based diet for the management of type 2 diabetes. Photo: Shutterstock

She cautions that IF is not suitable for children, teenagers, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and individuals who are physically fragile or have nutritional deficiencies.

IF is not license to consume unhealthy foods, such as sugar and fat-laden cakes and pastries, soft drinks, deep-fried products that are high in saturated fat and salt, and ultra-processed or junk foods that contain zero nutrients. provide elements. To get the health benefits of IF, you should choose nutritious food.

“If you consume unhealthy foods during the lactation period, you are essentially putting poor quality fuel into your body, and this can lead to increased inflammation, oxidative stress, and imbalances.” in your gut microbiome” Holm says.
Carbohydrate-rich foods such as instant noodles can cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly, increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Photo: Shutterstock

Studies have shown that people who consume high amounts of saturated fat — usually found in meat — and animal fat have twice the risk of developing diabetes than those who consume low amounts, Holm. They say.

Kong says overeating foods with a high glycemic index — carbohydrate-rich foods that quickly raise our blood sugar levels, such as white bread, instant noodles And some breakfast cereals – and sugary beverages – also increase our diabetes risk.

Both the American Diabetic Association and its Canadian counterpart advocate eating a whole-food, plant-based diet for managing type 2 diabetes. Composed of whole grains (like brown rice and oats), green leafy vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, seeds and nuts, this diet is rich in fiber and low in unhealthy fats, salt and sugar.

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Holm says that if you feel hungry while fasting, your hunger should subside after 30 minutes. Drinking zero-calorie liquids like water or plain tea can help satisfy your hunger.

She says this is why it is important to eat adequate and nutritious food during the lactation period, especially if you are physically active. Because they contain more fiber and nutrients, plant-based foods will satisfy you more than refined and processed foods.

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