When should you not do intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is popular. The simplicity of keeping only the time to cut food during the day without covering food or calorie counting is attractive. But fasting is fasting. Although it is only around 16 hours, there are times when it is dangerous to starve. The American health media ‘Everyday Health’ summarized expert opinions.

Diabetes = Intermittent fasting helps prevent diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity. But if you already have diabetes, it can be a problem. In particular, patients taking drugs that increase insulin secretion may experience hypoglycemic shock. Also, it is easy to binge eat foods that adversely affect blood sugar control due to the misconception that ‘you can eat anything as long as you keep the time’. Diabetics should consult their doctor first if they are considering intermittent fasting.

◆Underweight = Overweight people are difficult to understand, but some skinny people with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 are keen on dieting. However, if underweight people, who are prone to lack of nutritional intake, even do intermittent fasting, muscle loss and joint failure are likely to occur. A 2019 Polish study found that intermittent fasting is dangerous for underweight people.

◆Eating Disorder = Intermittent fasting is not recommended for those who have eating disorders such as binge eating or anorexia or have experienced it in the past. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, it’s easy to have an unhealthy relationship with food. Some people with eating disorders often use intermittent fasting as an excuse to binge eat.

◆ Elderly = Intermittent fasting can exacerbate cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and arrhythmia. It is a common underlying disease in the elderly. In addition, fasting for the elderly can lead to excessive weight loss. Excessive weight loss can adversely affect the immune system or metabolism.

◆ Nursing = Pregnant women or nursing mothers who are breastfeeding their babies should avoid intermittent fasting. This is because it is the time when an additional 300 to 500 calories (kcal) per day is needed compared to normal women for baby growth and breast milk production.

Reporter Lee Yong-jae [email protected]

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