You’ve probably heard stories of weight loss involving intermittent fasting. We all know someone who’s tried the '5:2 diet', where calories are severely restricted for two days each week.
There are many purported benefits of fasting, beyond fat reduction, and one common claim is that it helps to reduce inflammation. So what does the evidence say?
Why should we worry about inflammation?
There are a number of factors in our day-to-day lives that can trigger inflammation throughout the body. High stress levels, exposure to cigarette smoke, pollution, and poor sleep patterns can all result in inflammation.
The bigger issue is that many common medical conditions occur alongside inflammatory processes in the body, and can worsen if inflammation is left untreated. By managing systemic inflammation, you can help reduce the risk of developing secondary health conditions.
What is a fasting diet?
Fasting is defined as choosing to abstain from or reduce some or all food, drink, or both, for a set period of time. The most popular fasting diet is the 5:2 diet, where you have a strict maximum intake of 500-600 calories for two days in the week, but no or few restrictions the remaining five days. Another popular method is 16:8, where you fast for 16 hours a day, with an 8 hour window for eating in the afternoon.