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Can Intermittent Fasting Improve Diabetes?

Fasting, unless you're a religious person and doing it for a holiday, seems like an extreme thing to do.

After all, to properly function in life, even if you are overweight and have diabetes, you need calories to help you concentrate at work, walk down the street, pick up kids (both physically and in a car), and lots of other everyday functions. 

But "light" fasting or fasting at irregular intervals ('intermittent') can help with Type 2 Diabetes. Numerous studies support this method of fasting. 

Here's the basic idea: limiting your caloric intake every other day, or 2-3 days a week, or even refraining from food calories altogether one day a week can help with weight loss, increase gluten sensitivity, improve cardiovascular disease. It's even as effective as bariatric surgery in obese individuals. 

Some nutritionists suggest that those trying to control blood sugar levels and keep energy steady throughout the day should eat three balanced meals at regular times every day. 

That can still be a valuable strategy in combating fluctuating blood glucose levels and alertness at work. But you don't have to eat, say, a big breakfast every day. Do you notice how on some days you're hungrier than others? And hungrier at certain times of the day than others? 

A TRUE PALEO DIET...the original fast?

No doubt you've heard by now of the popular Paleo Diet, which eliminates grains, pasteurized dairy products like pizza and every baked good, among other things. The theory goes that if the food wasn't around during caveman times, don't eat it. 

True Paleo Diets didn't have 3 regularly scheduled meals per day. There were no drive-throughs, of course, 10,000 years ago. Paleolithic-era inhabitants lived by the feast and times of famine (fasting not by choice). Kill a sabertooth tiger and voila, food for the whole family. Hunting not plentiful lately? Maybe the clan can only survive with some berries, nuts and wild grasses and anything else foraged. 

A modern version of the Paleo fast, or intermittent fasting, can include two days during the week where you limit yourself to a vegetable smoothie (kale, coconut oil, almonds or walnuts with Miracle Matcha Health Mix-in) in the morning and for lunch, and for dinner, a salad. 

CAUTION FOR DIABETICS WITH FASTING

Another principle of intermittent fasting is to limit the times of the day when you eat. Many advocates of intermittent fasting suggest limiting caloric intake from 10 or 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

But if your blood sugar and insulin levels are still beyond normal ranges, consult with a professional to see if fasting at any level would be safe for you. 

And if you're reading this blog, you're probably conscious of prudent dietary choices like Miracle Noodles. It becomes even more critical to make sure what you're eating is low-glycemic on days that you are fasting or restricting calories. Just because you limit yourself to 800 calories one day won't improve health if it's mostly in the form of birthday cake. You certainly won't improve your blood sugar and insulin levels that way. 

MAIN THEORY OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

Calorie reduction or extended periods of fasting, say 12-15 hours (8 p.m. to 10 a.m., for example, a lifestyle shift that should be doable for many) will burn most if not all of the carbohydrates that are stored in the body within 8 hours, so long as you're not eating anything else that turns into sugars. If not, after that 8-hour period or so, your body will use fat as a primary fuel-burning source. 

So intermittent fasting can lead to a decrease in body fat. 

Fasting can also lead to a decrease in insulin resistance, meaning your pancreas will have to make less of the hormone to regulate your blood sugar levels. 

Leptin, an appetite-controlling hormone, will better curb cravings with intermittent fasting. 

And if you're concerned that fasting will adversely affect your blood sugar levels, it takes over 3 full days of fasting before blood sugars go out of whack. 

But again, if you have diabetes, consult with a trusted professional before trying intermittent fasting. 

The information presented is offered for educational and informational purposes only, and should not be construed as personal medical advice.

You should consult with your personal physician or registered dietitian or certified clinical nutritionist regarding your own medical care.

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