While typical diets are built around restrictive lists of foods that you should and shouldn’t eat, one of the most popular strategies in recent years takes a very different tack. Intermittent fasting focuses on when you should eat, not what.
More of an eating pattern than a diet, intermittent fasting doesn’t exclude specific food groups, which may be part of its appeal. The idea is that by restricting the number of hours we can be munching, we will reduce our calorie intake.
It’s also a pattern of eating that is more in sync with the way the human body naturally operates.
Find out how you can choose a diet that’s right for you. Check out this Staying Sharp story.
For people at midlife and older, there may be additional benefits. Studies of older adults using intermittent fasting suggest that it can help reduce inflammation in some, and several recent studies found it was linked to improvements in short-term memory in older adults.
The strategies for intermittent fasting generally fall into two categories: a daily window of around eight hours for meals followed by fasting, or the so-called 5:2 weekly method, in which people eat normally for five days, but gradually limit themselves to just 500 to 600 calories on each of two nonconsecutive days.
No matter which strategy you choose, talk to your doctor before you start any fasting plan, stay well-hydrated and choose healthy foods for meals.
To read the full article with research and tips on intermittent fasting, go to Intermittent Fasting May Help Support Brain and Body and check out these other articles on Staying Sharp:
- High-Fat Diet Linked to Memory Problems, Anxiety
- More Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Nuts Could Make Mediterranean Diet Healthier
- 7 Quick Food Fixes for Your Brain
This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any expert, professional or specialty advice or recommendations. Readers are urged to consult with their medical providers for all questions.