In a recent study, researchers found that a high protein, low-calorie diet that includes intermittent fasting not only could help with long-term weight loss.
In addition, the diet could help release toxins, enhance heart health and reduce oxidative stress.
This diet cuts back on calories and features four-six meals a day, each of which includes 20 to 25 grams of protein.
The study is conducted by Skidmore College scientist Paul Arciero.
Weight loss could release toxins into the blood, and this could have a negative effect on dieters’ health.
Environmental pollutants and other toxins are stored in fatty tissue. During weight loss, fat breaks down and toxins are discharged into the bloodstream.
Scientists have shown concern that the released toxins could increase dieters’ oxidative stress and their risk of developing serious conditions.
This includes fertility problems, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
In the current study, the team aimed to test the new diet they developed for weight loss.
They compared the effects of the special diet between obese men and women following a 12-week weight loss diet.
Then they compared the diet with people achieved by the heart-healthy diet over a 52-week period.
The researchers found that the 12-week diet program was equally effective at reducing body weight (>24 lbs, 10%), oxidative stress (25%), and arterial stiffness (12%) and increasing toxin release (25%) in women and men.
In addition, in the 52-week phase, the diet surpassed the traditional heart-healthy diet in maintaining weight loss; reducing artery stiffness; and releasing toxins.
The research finding shows that the new diet does not increase disease markers and, in fact, can aid detoxification and reduce oxidative stress — help reduce those fears.
Furthermore, the findings suggest that those who are not overweight or obese could also benefit from such a diet.
The study is published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Arciero-Protein-Pacing & Toxins).
The research finding is supported by other studies, which have shown that intermittent fasting could bring lots of health benefits.
For example, one study published in BMJ Case Reports showed that intermittent fasting could help reverse type 2 diabetes.
In the study, three men with diabetes, aged between 40 and 67, tried out planned intermittent fasting to see if it might ease their symptoms.
They were taking various drugs to control their disease as well as daily units of insulin. In addition to type 2 diabetes, they all had high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Two of the men fasted on alternate days for a full 24 hours, while the third fasted for three days a week.
On fast days they were allowed to drink very low calorie drinks, such as tea/coffee, water or broth, and to eat one very low calorie meal in the evening.
They stuck to this pattern for around 10 months after which fasting blood glucose, average blood glucose (HbA1c), weight, and waist circumference were re-measured.
The researchers found that all three men were able to stop injecting themselves with insulin within a month of starting their fasting schedule. In one case this took only five days.
Two of the men were able to stop taking all their other diabetic drugs, while the third discontinued three out of the four drugs he was taking.
They all lost weight (by 10-18%) as well as reducing their fasting and average blood glucose readings, which may help lower the risk of future complications
The team concludes that 24-hour fasting regimens can significantly reverse or eliminate the need for diabetic medication.
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Source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, BMJ Case Reports