Fasting offers numerous health benefits, from increasing insulin sensitivity and promoting weight loss to enhancing the immune system. Although we all want the benefits of fasting, many of us can’t embrace the idea of not eating for extended periods of time. However, what if you could achieve all the healthy advantages of a fast without having to skip meals?
The fasting mimicking diet, sometimes abbreviated as FMD, is a nutritional regimen. It consists of eating natural ingredients for five days which “tricks” the human body into a fasting mode. Research studies have demonstrated the fasting mimicking diet’s ability to improve overall health and wellness. Below, we will discuss the benefits of the fasting mimicking diet.
How Does the Fasting Mimicking Diet Work?
By restricting the food you eat, the fasting mimicking diet can provide similar health benefits as traditional fasting like reduced inflammation and fat burning. The difference, however, is that instead of not eating any food for several days or weeks, you’re simply limiting your calorie intake for five days. You can do the FMD once a month or every other month to promote well-being.
The ProLon® fasting mimicking diet, 5-day meal program offers individually packed and labeled foods for each day in precise quantities and combinations. The meal program consists of ready-to-eat or easy-to-prepare, plant-based foods, such as bars, soups, snacks, supplements, a drink concentrate, and teas. The products are scientifically formulated and great tasting.
FMD Macronutrient Ratios
First, you will restrict your calories to 1,100 calories on day one of the FMD. Then, you will restrict your calories to 800 calories on the other four days. What you eat and in what ratios you eat those foods is fundamental in the fasting mimicking diet. Healthcare professionals will recommend different ratios of macronutrients, the three basic components of every diet.
The most common recommendation is to eat 1,100 calories following a macronutrient ratio of 34 percent carbohydrates, 10 percent proteins, and 56 percent fats on day one. For the remaining four days, the most common recommendation is to eat 800 calories following a macronutrient ratio of 47 percent carbohydrates, 9 percent proteins, and 44 percent fats.
Other healthcare professionals recommend a macronutrient ratio with as much as 80 percent of calories coming from fat, and 10 percent from carbohydrates and proteins, respectively. According to Dr. Valter Longo, creator of the FMD, “the fasting mimicking diet allows the natural process of starvation, including autophagy, and stem cell regeneration, to occur without interruption.
The Science Behind the FMD
Research studies have demonstrated that limiting calorie intake provides many benefits for the lifespan of animals. However, what does the science say about the benefits of the fasting mimicking diet on humans? A recent research study evaluated the effects of the FMD in people and found some promising outcome measures. The research study was conducted on 100 healthy participants.
Half of the participants followed the ProLon® fasting mimicking diet, 5-day meal program every month and the other half of the participants followed a regular diet. After three months, the FMD group experienced weight loss, including visceral fat reduction, as well as decreased blood glucose, blood pressure, and markers of inflammation. The FMD group also experienced a drop in insulin-like growth factor 1, more frequently known as 1GF-1, which is considered to be a biomarker for cancer development.
The ProLon® fasting mimicking diet, 5-day meal program provides numerous health benefits while providing balanced nourishment. The FMD can promote weight loss as well as maintain healthy levels of blood glucose, BP, cholesterol, and triglycerides, C-reactive proteins, stem cells, and insulin-like growth factor 1 or IGF-1. Following the FMD alongside healthy lifestyle modifications can help improve overall health and wellness. Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
Other Fasting Mimicking Diet Benefits
The FMD has been demonstrated to give you protective, regenerative, and rejuvenating advantages while continuing to provide you with the balanced nourishment you need. Below, we will discuss several other health benefits of the fasting mimicking diet.
The same research study mentioned above also demonstrated that after three months, the FMD group experienced decreased levels of total and bad LDL cholesterol. When we have increased levels of cholesterol in our blood, it can cause plaque to build up in our arteries, causing the hardening, and the narrowing of the arteries. This may lead to a heart attack and coronary heart disease. If you combine the FMD with lifestyle modifications, you can lower and maintain healthy cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy.
We already mentioned that the FMD research study demonstrated it could decrease inflammation. However, we should first discuss what inflammation is and what it can do to the human body. Inflammation is one of the human body’s defense mechanisms. Your inflammation is triggered by your immune system to protect you from foreign invaders that could cause infection, illness, or injury.
By way of instance, let’s imagine you get a splinter in your finger. Your finger will become red and inflamed almost immediately. Your body is utilizing inflammation to protect itself from this foreign object. When you get a cut or an insect bite, the same holds true. However, how does inflammation affect our well-being? Chronic inflammation can lead to many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. The FMD has the potential to reduce the possibility of developing chronic diseases.
Improves Brain Health
The fasting mimicking diet can also help improve our brain health. In a 2015 animal research study, the FMD improved cognition and promoted the regeneration of neurons in the brains of mice. Additionally, it decreased the markers of aging in the subjects.
Can Help Reverse Diabetes
The FMD can positively affect insulin production. In another animal research study, blood glucose levels were preserved and more insulin-producing beta cells were produced in mice. The Science Translational Medicine research study also demonstrated that the participants following the FMD experienced a reduction in glucose levels. Although further evidence is required, there are strong indications that healthy lifestyle modifications can help control and even reverse diabetes.
How to Start the Fasting Mimicking Diet
I encourage you to work with your healthcare professional if you’re interested in the FMD. You will also need advice and guidance from a qualified healthcare professional to help you decide on your proper macronutrient ratios. In summary, you should be eating a diet full of plant-rich whole foods, with an emphasis on nuts and olives. You could also eat soups and broths as well as herbal teas.
Make sure you also avoid the consumption of alcohol and carbonated drinks. Instead, you can drink two cups of black tea or coffee. Furthermore, you shouldn’t exercise vigorously during those five days. Consider taking a gentle walk around the block.
Research studies have demonstrated promising results with the fasting mimicking diet. However, the FMD may not be for everyone. Pregnant women and older adults shouldn’t try the FMD. If you’d like to experience the health benefits of the FMD yourself, talk with your doctor and/or a nutritionist. Doing more than one cycle every month could ultimately affect your overall health and wellness.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal health issues as well as functional medicine topics and discussions. To further discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topic Discussion: Acute Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain attributes to the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once throughout their life. Your spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.
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