Fast Your Way to a Stronger Heart: The No-Sweat Secret Revealed by Science

If you’re looking to improve your heart health and reduce your risk of diabetes without lifting a finger, fasting is the answer. Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City have found evidence that fasting can improve blood cholesterol levels, lower triglycerides (blood fats), and provide benefits for those at risk of diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, fasting has been shown to help with weight loss and blood sugar level improvements.

Previously, studies have shown that individuals who fasted to improve heart health were criticized for adopting other beneficial lifestyle practices that supported health. However, the recent research focused on heart patients who had never fasted before, demonstrating that fasting itself reduces the risk associated with common diseases.

How fasting works

The researchers conducted an in-depth analysis of the body’s biological reactions during fasting. “Fasting causes hunger or stress. In response, the body releases more cholesterol, allowing it to utilize fat as a source of fuel, instead of glucose. This decreases the number of fat cells in the body,” says researcher Benjamin D. Horne, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at Intermountain. “This is important because the fewer fat cells a body has, the less likely it will experience insulin resistance or diabetes.”

The researchers discovered that fasting also increases the body’s production of human growth hormone (HGH), which protects muscle and maintains metabolic balance. A 24-hour fast boosted HGH levels by an average of 1,300% in women and about 2,000% in men. As a result, fasting can be an effective way to improve heart health and reduce the risk of diabetes.

Fasting safety tips

Before beginning a fasting regimen, it’s essential to consult with your doctor to ensure that you’re doing so safely and effectively. Here are some general tips to keep in mind:

  1. Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink enough water during the fasting period to prevent dehydration.

  2. Avoid overeating once the fast is over: When fasting ends, it’s essential to break the fast gently, focusing on light, healthy meals to ease your digestive system back into its regular routine.

  3. Know your limits: Fasting isn’t for everyone, and it’s important to listen to your body. If you’re feeling ill or experiencing severe side effects, stop the fast immediately and consult a healthcare professional.

  4. Choose the right fasting method for you: There are various fasting methods, such as intermittent fasting or the 5:2 diet. Research the different options and consult with your doctor to determine which method is best suited for your health and lifestyle.

The benefits of fasting

The evidence supporting the benefits of fasting is growing. In addition to improving heart health and reducing the risk of diabetes, fasting has been linked to the following health benefits:

  • Promoting autophagy: Autophagy is a natural process in which the body eliminates damaged cells and rebuilds new, healthier ones. Fasting has been shown to boost autophagy levels, resulting in improvements in overall health and protection against diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer.
  • Improving cognitive function: Fasting has been linked to better brain health, enhancing memory, and increasing overall cognitive function.
  • Reducing inflammation: Fasting may help reduce inflammation in the body, which is a key factor in many chronic conditions and diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.

The bottom line

Incorporating fasting into your lifestyle may provide numerous long-term health benefits, such as improved heart and cognitive health, reduced inflammation, and a lower risk of diabetes. Before starting a fasting regimen, consult with a healthcare professional and adopt safe practices to ensure maximum benefits to your overall well-being.