Is Intermittent Fasting Good For Your Heart Health? – NDTV

Intermittent fasting requires long durations of fasting
Fasting essentially refers to long periods of breaks between meals. The idea behind fasting is to consume a lesser number of meals throughout the day to push the body to burn fat to extract energy.
Fasting over the years has received mixed opinions. Some believe it is an effortless way to lose weight while some think it might be too restrictive to work as a long-term diet. Furthermore, what we eat and how we eat also influences various other organs and functions in the body.
How does intermittent fasting work?
Some recent studies and observations have tried to tally the effects of fasting on the heart. Especially in the case of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a regime that focuses on fasting in certain time-influenced methods. The 3 most common intermittent fasting types are:
Daily Fasting
In this case, the person is expected to fast for about 16 hours straight, daily. Ideally, you skip dinner and have a late breakfast that gives you a window of 8 hours to eat food. Under intermittent fasting, the restrictions are only on the time durations. There are no necessary restrictions on what you eat during that 8 hours window.
2 Day Fasting
Under this type of intermittent fasting, the person is expected to fast for only 2 days of the week. These two days can be any according to your convenience but cannot be consecutive. You are expected to fast for 24 hours straight on these 2 days. For example, you fast from Monday morning to Tuesday and then from Thursday morning to Friday morning.
2 Day Dieting
Under this type of intermittent fasting, you can follow your diet as you would for any 5 days of the week. For the other 2 nonconsecutive days, you are only allowed to consume 500-600 calories throughout the day. This is the only kind of intermittent fasting that has restrictions on foods and calories.
How does intermittent fasting benefit the heart?
Intermittent fasting may be helpful in bettering our heart’s health due to various reasons. There are numerous factors that influence our heart’s health. Blood pressure, blood circulation, obesity, and so on.
Primarily, the main factor that makes intermittent fasting good for our heart health is its ability to help us lose weight. Being obese or overweight can cause various health and heart complications. Some of which may be heart failure, coronary artery diseases, atrial fibrillation, cardiac arrest, and so on. It might also cause some less severe heart issues such as lowered blood circulation, heart rate, blood pressure, and so on.
Even for people that are not overweight, intermittent fasting might still promote better functioning in the heart. Fasting helps lower controls diabetes, and blood pressure, and reduces cholesterol. However, we must be mindful of some negative side effects of fasting. Fasting can cause an electrolyte shortage or abnormality in the body. This can affect your heart health negatively. Hence, following a fasting regime that may be less intense can help significantly. In case you do wish to follow intermittent fasting, you are advised to talk to a doctor first. It is important to follow any diet under correct supervision if you already suffer from heart-related issues. You may even be prescribed supplements to maintain healthy electrolyte levels.
Is intermittent fasting the way to go?
As much as intermittent fasting might help you lose weight and help manage other heart-related disorders, the best way to manage health is to do it in a proper manner. Intermittent fasting or any other kind of fasting may not be a good permanent solution if you wish to maintain a healthy body and heart.

Diet techniques such as intermittent fasting can only help in the short run. The best way to maintain good heart health is to eat a well-balanced diet and talk to your doctor about what foods should be strictly avoided. At last, incorporating physical activities into your routine may also be extremely helpful in maintaining good health and heart.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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