• Glenn Wilson

    Eating every other day can raise your cholesterol.

    Dr. Greger: Are there any downsides to fasting every other day? For example, might going all day without eating impair your ability to think clearly? Surprisingly, the results appear to be equivocal. Some studies show no measurable effects, and the ones that do fail to agree on which cognitive domains are affected. Might the fasting/feasting cycles cause eating disorder-type behavior like bingeing? So far, no harmful psychological effects have been found. In fact, there may actually be some benefit, though the studies that have put it to the test specifically excluded those with a documented history of eating disorders—for whom the effects may differ.

    What about bone health? No change in bone mineral density was noted after six months of alternate-day fasting, despite about 16 pounds of weight loss, which would typically result in a dip in bone mass. There were no skeletal changes noted in the control group either, however, that lost a similar amount of weight using continuous calorie restriction. The researchers suggest that this is because both groups tended to be more physically active than the average obese individuals by one or two thousand steps a day.

    Proponents of intermittent fasting suggest it can better protect lean body mass. But most of the intermittent trials have employed less accurate methods of body composition analysis, whereas the majority of continuous caloric restriction trials used vastly more accurate technologies. So, to date, it’s not clear if there’s a difference in lean mass preservation.

    Continue at NutritionFacts: Is Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting Safe?

    To see the full transcript or links to cited sources go to the link above, then scroll below the video and click on View Transcript or Sources Cited.

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