You may have heard of intermittent fasting and wondered what people were talking about. In the past few years, this movement has grown with hundreds of YouTube videos and articles outlining how to do it properly.
At the end of the day, intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern where a person will cycle between periods of eating and more extended periods of fasting. Standard practices include fasting for 16-hours daily or 24-hour fasts, twice per week.
This eating pattern makes sense when you think about human evolution. Ancient hunter-gatherer communities did not have access to food as freely as we do today and sometimes they just could not eat.
As a result, humans had to evolve to be able to live without food for long periods of time.
Fasting is also still quite customary in many religions such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism.
In one Toronto study, three men with Type 2 diabetes used intermittent fasting to reverse their dependence on insulin. In a new report, the patients also lost weight and their HbA1C measurements improved.
“People are focused on giving drugs to Type 2 diabetes, but it’s a dietary disease,” said study author Dr. Jason Fung, medical director of the Intensive Dietary Management Program in Toronto.
The study had patients following 24-hour fasts a few times a week. They were able to keep drinking water, coffee, and broth throughout the fasts. The participants were all men between ages 40-67 and each had diabetes for at least a decade.