Eating less to save money? There’s better news, as we now have proof that eating less is also better for your health.
According to cancer researcher Dr Miriam Merad, intermittent fasting reduces risk of developing certain deadly chronic diseases.
The culprit is monocyte, a type of white blood cell that is inflammatory. Although their main job is to fight off infections and wounds, they stand guard to fight foreign microorganisms when we eat.
Monocytes also become extremely active when we eat sugar. They accumulate in fat tissue, contributing to chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and high cholesterol.
Dr Merad’s study shows that intermittent fasting helps to calm these inflammatory cells.
Her study included taking blood samples from adults who were asked to fast for 19 hours a day. She found that those who fasted had astonishingly low monocyte levels.
Intermittent fasting isn’t a novel idea. Fasting has been used religiously and culturally for centuries.
In recent years, the most common form of fasting has been the 16:8 fast, where you fast for 16 hours and eat only within the 8-hour window.
For most modern lifestyles, it simply includes skipping breakfast and having a slightly later lunch with a slightly earlier dinner.
(Just don’t tell your mum that you’re skipping breakfast!)
Fasting is still dangerous when done incorrectly!
Before you start on your fast, do your research and speak to nutritionists on your plan.
People with eating disorders, are pregnant, or require a specialized eating regimen are not advised to start fasting on your own.
For most people, it can be hard to not snack during your fasting window, which can result in higher stress hormones, binge-eating, and overeating.
Some can take fasting to extremes and practice dry fasting (fasting without water) or extended periods of fasting which puts your body into starvation mode. This is not healthy and will lead to dehydration, especially in Malaysia’s harsh weather.
Practice safe dieting
Always make sure you are getting the appropriate amount of nutrition even if you want to partake in fasting.
Listen to your body’s needs and never push yourself to the extreme.
Some people are not suited for fasting, especially if you have diabetes, are pregnant, or have a chronic illness.
If you ever feel dizziness, fatigue, dehydration, constipation, or unwell, always consult a doctor to make sure you’re not putting your health at risk.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.