Intermittent fasting diet has earned quite some traction in the world of health and nutrition. In this special kind of fasting diet, you need to consume all your day's food in a restricted time window and fast for the remaining hours. They are two very popular kinds of intermittent fasting diets daily time-restricted feeding, which narrows eating times to 6-8 hours per day, and so-called 5:2 intermittent fasting, in which people limit themselves to one moderate-sized meal two days each week.
In the article published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine neuroscientist Mark Mattson said that the diet may play a key role in improve blood sugar regulation. It may increase resistance to stress and suppresses inflammation.
"Intermittent fasting could be part of a healthy lifestyle," said Mattson who has studied the health impact of intermittent fasting for 25 years, and adopted it himself about 20 years ago.
In his argument, he said that as many four studies in both animals and people revealed intermittent fasting also decreased blood pressure, blood lipid levels and resting heart rates.
Fating and eating within a restricted time window support cellular health, probably by triggering an age-old adaptation to periods of food scarcity called metabolic switching. This happens when cells use up their stores of rapidly accessible, sugar-based fuel, and start converting fat into energy in a slower metabolic process.
"Evidence is also mounting that intermittent fasting can modify risk factors associated with obesity and diabetes," said Mattson.
"We are at a transition point where we could soon consider adding information about intermittent fasting to medical school curricula alongside standard advice about healthy diets and exercise," he said.
Mattson acknowledged that researchers do "not fully understand the specific mechanisms of metabolic switching and that "some people are unable or unwilling to adhere" to the fasting regimens.
People should study more about the fast, with enough guidance and support, many people can incorporate the diet in their lives. It takes a while to adjust, and the initial irritability that comes with it.
"Patients should be advised that feeling hungry and irritable is common initially and usually passes after two weeks to a month as the body and brain become accustomed to the new habit," Mattson noted.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)