Intermittent fasting may reverse diabetes, Here’s how

Intermittent fasting has become a trend, but it is mainly associated with dieting and weight loss. Now a study has found that intermittent fasting may lead to diabetes remission.
diabetes and fungal infections
Women might have vaginal yeast infection if they have diabetes. Courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 11:10 am IST
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When millennials think of weight loss or dieting, intermittent fasting pops up in their mind. It has made them happy as it has helped them in bringing down their weight. The good news is that it might be beneficial to those with diabetes too. A quick online search will show you that many people have looked up if it’s safe for diabetics to opt for intermittent fasting. A new study has revealed that it may help put diabetes in remission, and the benefits are not limited to millennials. Nearly half of the participants of the study were aged between 38 and 72. They followed an intermittent calorie-restrictive diet for three months and managed to achieve diabetes remission.

According to the study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the participants no longer had to take their diabetes medications and were able to maintain that remission at one-year mark.

Health Shots delved into it a little deeper with the help of Dr Aravinda J, Diabetologist, National Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India, Executive Committee Member, Delhi.

Diabetes diet
Intermittent fasting may put diabetes in remission. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

What is intermittent fasting and how is it linked to diabetes remission?

Time of eating is very important when it comes to intermittent fasting as it involves eating food in a certain time period. Dr Aravinda said that it can be 5:2 fasting or daily time-restricted fasting or alternate-day fasting. While 5:2 fasting includes a normal diet for five days and fasting for two days a week, in alternate-day fasting, you can eat one day and fast the next day or you can have a small meal. It can consist of less than 500 calories.

As for daily time-restricted fasting, it requires eating food within an eight-hour window every day. The expert said that this process helps in cutting off calories that results in weight loss, which can be “one of the reasons for an increase in the likelihood of diabetes remission.” Explaining further, the expert shared that obesity is one of the main concerns in diabetics as it leads to several other complications, and intermittent fasting can “target this concern and help with diabetes remission.”

What foods should you eat as part of intermittent fasting?

It is important to understand the category of foods one can eat while doing intermittent fasting. Since intermittent fasting requires long breaks from eating, it is essential to include nutritional foods as part of the diet. You need to eat whole foods that are rich in fibre. They should be incorporated into diet plans, which must also include protein-rich foods.

High-calcium foods as well as multi-vitamin-enriched foods are also recommended as part of intermittent fasting food essentials, shared Aravinda. Amid all the nutrient-rich food, ensure that a good amount of water intake is your priority.

managing diabetes
There are more chances of remission in type 2 diabetes patients. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Are there more chances of diabetes remission when you have type 2 diabetes?

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the prime factors causing type 2 diabetes whereas type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune insulin disorder, so there are “more chances of diabetes remission in type 2 diabetes patients,” said Dr Aravinda. The expert shared that lack of physical activity, disrupted sleep cycle and malnutrition increase the risk of having type 2 diabetes, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help people with type 2 diabetes to remain stable or even reach remission.

Diet to follow after experiencing diabetes remission

Diabetes or no diabetes, you should always take a healthy diet, but you must focus more on food habits post-diabetes remission. The expert said that it is advisable to consult a dietician and inculcate healthy eating in your lifestyle even after achieving diabetes remission. After all, experiencing diabetes remission does not give a free hand to ignore health concerns.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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