Dr. Ekberg, a holistic doctor and former Olympic decathlete, discusses the best foods for intermittent fasting and how they can help you reap the multitude of benefits without suffering from hunger.
Together, let’s embark on a journey to discover the best foods for intermittent fasting, and learn which benefits you can reap along your journey.
Intermittent fasting offers a plethora of health benefits beyond weight loss. From lowering blood sugar and reversing diabetes to reducing inflammation, improving brain function, and mitigating the risk of diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer, the list goes on.
The two common mechanisms behind these incredible benefits are crucial to understand:
Insulin, released in response to food intake, plays a pivotal role in intermittent fasting. When you abstain from eating, insulin levels drop steadily. Consistent fasting over weeks and months can reduce even stubborn cases of insulin resistance and reverse type 2 diabetes.
During fasting, as the body receives no new resources, it becomes efficient at recycling and detoxifying. Autophagy, the process of resource scavenging, is initiated, allowing the body to distinguish between valuable and wasteful elements.
This process not only enhances detoxification but also boosts the immune system. Moreover, growth hormone levels increase, aiding in fat burning while ensuring effective protein usage.
Long-term fasting, involving days or even weeks without food, may provide incredible benefits, but it’s not a sustainable lifestyle. Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, offers a flexible approach.
You can eat during specific periods, whether it’s once a day within a set timeframe or every other day. This sustainability is what makes intermittent fasting so compelling.
In his video, Dr. Ekberg highlights the importance of low-carb diets for maximizing the benefits of intermittent fasting. The reason behind this is the speed at which insulin levels drop. The higher your initial insulin levels, the longer it takes to achieve a state of autophagy.
Consuming high-carb meals can cause insulin spikes and create obstacles to reaching the desired fasting state. Furthermore, carbs are notorious for triggering hunger and cravings.
Opting for a diet rich in fats and proteins while minimizing carb intake helps maintain stable glucose and insulin levels, ensuring you don’t experience energy crashes, lethargy, or cravings during fasting.
Timing plays a crucial role in maximizing the benefits of intermittent fasting. Dr. Ekberg suggests that autophagy and insulin resistance reversal peak after 12-14 hours of fasting. To extract the most benefits, you can extend your fasting window.
An effective strategy is to incorporate small, low-protein, low-carb, high-fat meals or beverages during fasting periods. For instance, a popular choice is Bulletproof coffee.
This provides essential nutrients and calories without causing a significant insulin response, helping you maintain your fasting state. While technically breaking your fast, it keeps most fasting benefits intact.
Now that we’ve covered the mechanisms and strategies, let’s explore the best foods for intermittent fasting:
This list serves as a foundation to start your journey, but it’s essential to understand the principles so you can expand it with similar foods that suit your preferences.
Intermittent fasting offers a multitude of health benefits, and understanding the role of insulin, autophagy, and the advantages of low-carb diets can help you unlock its full potential.
The flexibility of intermittent fasting allows you to make it a sustainable part of your life, ensuring you enjoy a healthier and happier journey.
Now that you’re equipped with this comprehensive guide, you can embrace intermittent fasting with the best foods to suit your goals and preferences.
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