While much of the focus of Low Carb Intermittent Fasting is centered on weight loss, It’s incorrect to consider LCIF as beneficial for weight loss alone.
And while fasting, thanks to the popularity of Intermittent Fasting, has become a fairly hot health topic in recent times, the concept is not a particularly new one and has been utilized in one form or another for a variety of health reasons.
In fact, fasting has been associated with most major religions dating back thousands of years, including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, and Hinduism. It has been utilized by a number of historical figures including Mahatma Gandhi and Socrates for the benefit of improving mental acuity and increasing creative output.
In the following article we are going to look at 5 of the most promising health benefits associated with Low Carb Intermittent Fasting.
As a treatment for Epilepsy
Most patients (up to 65%) suffering from Epilepsy either eradicate or significantly reduce their incidence of seizure when undertaking Antiepileptic drug treatment. The remaining 35% however have no such option available.
The Ketogenic diet ( A very low carb, high fat diet) has been in use since the 1920’s for the treatment of Epilepsy. One random clinical trial demonstrated an over 50% reduction in children who experienced seizures daily and were not responsive to Antiepileptic drug treatment.
It is also thought that Fasting, combined with the Ketogenic diet or variation of Low Carb Diet may provide a benefit greater than the sum of its parts for treating those with drug resistant Epilepsy.
Reducing inflammation in the body
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to trauma such as infection or injury. It’s an immune response that occurs when the cells affected release chemicals into the damaged or infected area causing blood vessels to leak fluid resulting in swelling. They also attract Phagocytes (A type of white blood cell) that ingests damaged tissue.
This is a perfectly normal process and aids our bodies to recover from trauma.
Chronic inflammation on the other hand is a prolonged immune response that occurs when there is a change in cells to a specific area and can lead to inflammatory arthritic conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis.
May Reduce your Risk of Developing Diabetes
Pre Diabetes (Higher than normal blood sugar levels) may be controlled and in some cases reversed by a low Carbohydrate Diet.
Prediabetes is often the result of a condition known as Insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is typically the result of a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle but may also be genetic.
Insulin resistance occurs when the cells of the body become more resistant to Insulin placing a higher demand on the Pancreas to produce Insulin. As the condition worsens over time the Pancreas is unable to supply sufficient Insulin to reduce blood sugar levels.
Unless addressed, mostly through diet there is a high chance of developing Diabetes. Low Carb Diets and Intermittent Fasting both reduce glucose ( blood sugar) levels which directly addresses the bodies requirements for Insulin production.
May increase Mental Acuity
Fasting, has long been associated with mental acuity. In fact Ancient Greek Philosophers such as Pytharagos, Plato and Socrates used fasting to enhance mental acuity and creativity.
Protein production is believed to increase in the brain during fasting periods which in turn may strengthen the synapses and promote neuron growth.
Fasting is also believed to trigger the production of numerous chemicals in the body that promote neural health particularly the areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
Increased mental acuity due to fasting may be a response mechanism passed on from earlier generations when we were required to hunt for our food. In general terms the thinking is, if you are hungry, your mind is potentially more alert.
When it comes to low carb dieting, some studies have also demonstrated an improvement in memory for those already mentally impaired with the rate of improvement correlating directly with Ketone levels in the bloodstream.
It should be noted however that studies have also shown no positive correlation with memory and low carb diets, meaning these is more research required before a conclusion can be reached.
May Increase Cellular Regeneration
Our bodies are constantly repairing and replacing cells. When we are eating regularly, our digestive system requires a great deal of energy. In the case of digesting Protein it may require up to 30% of the total calories absorbed from the food itself.
Cellular turnover and repair may increase when undertaking intermittent fasting as our bodies potentially prioritize cellular repair and turnover during the fasting window.
Low Carb dieting, specifically the Ketogenic diet has demonstrated a similar effect to calorie restriction, as it improves the efficiency of cellular energy production. As a result low carb diets have even been used to promote healing post surgery.
While there are a number of benefits associated with Low Carb Intermittent Fasting outside of weight loss the above are potentially the most promising and may allow greater benefits in the future.
For example treating Pre-Diabetes may also result in an increased ability to manage Type 2 Diabetes. Improving cellular regeneration may result in better injury management practices.
In any case the benefits of Low Carb Intermittent Fasting extend well beyond merely weight loss. Although it must be said, for most of us reducing weight particularly body fat is always an important aspect when it comes to improving overall health.