Fasting lowers cholesterol levels

If cholesterol levels are too high, a change in diet would first be very helpful – and since many people with excessive cholesterol levels are also overweight, a healthy diet is even more useful here: The cholesterol levels drop and body weight decreases.

Autor: Dr. med. W. Tönnes 

Intermittent fasting and the cholesterol level

More and more people are trying Intermittent Fasting and feeling better than ever. Intermittent fasting is not a real fasting because you are not necessarily restricting calories. You just change your eating times and first of all extend the night fasting period.

Whereas normally you might eat something in the evening at 8 pm and have breakfast in the morning at 7 am, with intermittent fasting you eat in the evening at 5 pm at the latest and the next day at 11 am, for example. In this way, the night fasting period is extended from 11 hours to 18 hours.

So you only eat in a time window from 11 am to 5 pm. But even in this time window, you don’t eat non-stop, you only eat two main meals. Of course, you eat slowly and chew carefully.


Intermittent Fasting burns cholesterol

Intermittent fasting apparently activates a very special mechanism when it comes to cholesterol. The cholesterol in the fat cells – of all things, the so-called bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) – is simply used by the organism for energy production and burnt off. The excessive cholesterol level drops, and we have one less risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Researchers at the Intermountain Heart Institute of the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah explained that after a fasting period of only 10 to 12 hours, the organism starts looking for alternative energy sources. The glucose reserves are depleted, so a substitute has to be found. So the body pulls the LDL cholesterol from the fat cells and gains energy from it.

The research results from Utah were presented at the scientific meetings of the American Diabetes Association in San Francisco in 2014.


Fasting as a therapy for diabetes

Fasting has the potential to become an important treatment for diabetes,” said Dr Benjamin Horne, leader of the study. “While we’ve been studying the health benefits of fasting for many years now, we’ve never known the exact ways in which fasting works so well specifically for diabetes or in eliminating the typical diabetes risk factors.”

In prediabetes, the preliminary stage of diabetes, blood sugar levels already rise higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be called diabetes. In earlier studies – e.g. from 2011 – Dr Horne was already able to show that fasting reduces such chronically elevated blood sugar levels and also reduces any existing excess weight.

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