When the cancer researcher Dr. Miriam Merad came home from her lab to get new results on how fasting could reduce the risk of certain deadly chronic diseases, her husband was so impressed that he stopped eating a meal a day.
She says he never eats breakfast anymore and limits his meal times to lunch and dinner.
She also started to change her mealtime earlier in the evening.
"Indeed, you feel better when you have time to digest," Merad said.
The budget shifts in Merad's mealtimes are based on her latest research, a small but novel study published Thursday in Cell magazine that showed that fasting at the cellular level can have positive benefits for otherwise healthy people.
Intermittent Fasting Prevents Inflammation in the Body
By examining the blood of 1
In other words, Merad begins to believe that skipping some meals could help people lead a longer and healthier life.
Read More : Eliminating some meals with temporary fasting can help people avoid cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, too.
"Many of the people in my lab start fasting intermittently," she said.
Your lab partners are not alone. Celebrities such as Terry Crews, Hugh Jackman, Kourtney Kardashian and Jack Dorsey swear by their own fasting plans that limit the number of hours reserved for food in one day or (in more extreme cases) in one week.
"My first meal is at 2:00 pm," the Crews Business Insiders said earlier. "And then I eat from 2 to 10."
There is evidence that fasting is good for our hearts and abdomen or cultural reasons, for thousands of years. Laboratory studies suggest that people who are quick to burn calories or limit calorie intake may have fewer heart problems, better cholesterol, less risk of stroke and fewer cases of diabetes.
However, the science of intermittent fasting for weight loss is far from clear. Merad warns that anyone who wants to try a new fasting routine should consult a doctor and nutritionist before starting.
"I'm not saying that food is our enemy, absolutely not, we have to eat, or we'll die," she said. "But it's true that we probably overeat … we eat too often."
Fasting can still be dangerous, and not everyone should try.
Not everyone should fast. People with eating disorders or a history of diabetes and pregnant women should be extra cautious about omitting meals.
But even for people who have no reason to avoid fasting, the practice may be a bit of a catch. As food adds to the burden on the intestines, eating non-food for long periods of time requires a lot of willpower (something that we are known to use terribly) and can lead to seizures and the release of stress hormones.
Some nutrition experts do not support the practice at all.
"We all have a natural overnight fast when we sleep," New York-based dietician Alissa Rumsey recently told Business Insider. "I usually do not recommend any other kind of specific fasting because what you are really doing is overriding your body's intuition."
Nevertheless, there is some consensus in the new fasting research. Even nutritionists who do not support fasting agree with Merad that sugar is one of the most toxic foods for the human body. We have clear evidence that too much sugary food contributes to all types of chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.
In this new study, monocyte cells were the most excited when people ate particularly sugary diets, providing even more evidence that too much sugar is dangerous to humans.
"I'd like to encourage everyone to rethink this little thing, is there any way we can eat differently?" Merad said. "It may be enough to eat twice a day, and this is very beneficial for your health."