Restricted Eating Can Improve the Metabolic Syndrome

What is Restricted Eating?

Time-restricted eating is a type of intermittent fasting, a topic found in abundance lately in reference to health and/or weight loss interventions. Often weight loss appears to be the primary outcome of diets; however, there important health benefits associated with consuming an optimum diet, not just weight loss alone.

This time-frame of eating can vary according to the person’s preference and the plan they choose to follow. Typically, though, the eating window in time-restricted programs ranges from 6–12 hours a day.

Outside of this period, a person consumes no calories. They should, however, drink water or no-calorie beverages to remain hydrated. In some time-restricted diet plans, people may also consume unsweetened coffee or tea with no cream.

Although time-restricted eating will not work for everyone, those who have their doctor’s approval may find it beneficial. Some recent studies have shown that it can aid weight loss and may lower the risk of metabolic diseases, such as diabetes.

What is the Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of health risks, including elevated blood pressure, altered blood lipids, high blood glucose, insulin resistance, and a large waist circumference that increases the chance of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

A group of researchers from the U. of California, San Diego and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies looked at 19 participants, 13 men and 6 women who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.  For a 12 -week period, their eating was restricted to a maximum of 10 hours a day, during which time they could eat anything they wanted, and in whatever quantities they wished.

The study defined at baseline the eating window as the interval which 95% of calories were consumed and in this case was about 15 hours every day. At the end of the study, a 29% reduction in the eating interval to 10 hours a day resulted in a 3% reduction in weight, BMI and percent body fat and a 4% reduction in waist circumference.. Patients also reported that they had a more restful sleep and many saw a reduction in cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

The authors concluded: Time-restricted eating is a powerfully potential lifestyle intervention that can be added to standard medical practice to treat metabolic syndrome.

The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

 

 

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