University of Southern California researchers developed a five-day monthly diet that they called the “Fasting Mimicking Diet”.
They found that people, who followed the fasting regimen for three months had reduced risk factors for aging, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Co-author Valter Longo said that strict fasting is hard for people to stick to and it can also be dangerous, adding that they developed a complex diet that triggers the same effects in the body.
On Day One of the pseudo-fast, dieters eat 1,090 calories made up of 10 percent protein, 56 percent fat and 34 percent carbohydrates. Days Two through Five each have 725 calories with 9 percent protein, 44 percent fat and 47 percent carbohydrates. The rest of the month, dieters can eat whatever they want, said the study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Co-author Satchidananda Panda said that intermittent fasting helps the body to rejuvenate and repair, thereby promoting overall health, adding that fasting alone is more powerful in preventing and reversing some diseases than drugs.
Arizona State University’s Melinda Johnson said that fasting can be dangerous when it is used as a weight loss tool, noting that people’s weight loss behavior is linked to problems, such as a lower body image, lower self-esteem, and a poor relationship with food.