Intermittent fasting, also known as IF for short, is something you’ve probably noticed growing in popularity. There are many benefits to doing IF, including weight loss, reduced inflammation, and hypertension.
But many people still wonder if it’s safe for your overall health. Some scientists believe that IF can be beneficial for the longevity of life. Is there evidence to back this up?
Let’s dive into intermittent fasting and lifespan so you can see whether there is a way when it’s done properly also helps with longevity.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
There are varying types of intermittent fasting that people do, and the three most common forms include the following:
- Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) is where people will fast or create a more restrictive calorie intake that happens every other day.
- 5:2 IF people fasting will do so for two full days of the week and eat regularly for the other five days.
- Time Restricted (TRF) is when people eat only during a specific time window, usually an 8-hour frame like 10 am-6 pm, then will do an extended overnight fast.
Most people utilize an app to help keep track of their fasting times. One of the best apps to consider is the fasting tracker by Zero Longevity, which helps you build up your fasting windows in a gradual, healthy manner.
How Intermittent Fasting Effects Longevity
Below are some of the benefits that IF can bring to the body, and how it affects your longevity.
Oxidative Stress Levels
One of the many advantages of utilizing intermittent fasting is that it reduces oxidative stress. The stress comes from an imbalance within the body of free radicals, which can lead to damage to cells, proteins, and even DNA.
Many scientists agree that oxidative stress can lead to a progressive loss of tissue and organ function, which is a major factor in aging. If you can limit free radicals within the body and decrease the level of oxidative stress that occurs, you can essentially help keep your body healthier and limit the effects of that aging process.
One of IF’s more prominent effects is the body’s response to insulin and regulating blood sugar. When a person’s sensitivity to insulin is low, it is often accompanied by obesity and is linked to heart failure and diabetes.
When you fast, you’re more likely to lose weight and your body’s organ functions reset. Insulin levels drop significantly, improving your insulin control along with other metabolic responses in the body. This improvement to your health provides a good foundation for longevity.
What is the Right Way to Fast?
Since there are different methods and ways of fasting, you may wonder what is the best way to ensure longevity. It can feel confusing, and you may need help knowing where to begin.
In summary, any fasting method you try will be healthy as long as you don’t overdo it. There is a significant difference between calorie restriction and fasting. Short periods of fasting can be considerably beneficial for your health.
For example, if you fast for just twelve hours throughout an entire week, you will begin to see improvements immediately. You’ll notice an increase in metabolism, cell repair, and insulin sensitivity. And it’s a great place if you’re just starting with intermittent fasting since you can just be sure to stop eating after dinner (6 pm to 6 am). You must listen to your body’s cues and allow yourself time to decide whether you truly need that midnight snack.
However, if you’re looking for the “right way” to fast, the best health effects tend to occur with a three-day fast. Your body will enter ketosis, helping to reboot stem cells and boost your immune system. Your ketone levels in the blood achieve an ideal level after at least two days.
Whichever way you try it, intermittent fasting can be a great way to add to the longevity of life. Be careful that you don’t go too long and become nutrient deficient. It’s best if you discuss your intermittent fasting methods with your doctor or physician before attempting to ensure that fasting will be the most beneficial for you as an individual.