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Medical Scientists: #126: Is Fasting Good for Health?

Medical Scientists: #126: Is Fasting Good for Health?

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Professor Christine Prismar. Photo by Anna Bjorklund. ´

As a diabetes mellitus physician, it was only natural that Kirsten Prismar also cares about lifestyle and dietary habits as they are an important part of treating type 2 diabetes.

The effects of reducing calories are affected by the diet we eat. If you eat unhealthy food that contains a lot of fat and sugar, periodic fasting can reduce the risk of many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, dementia and diabetes. If you eat more healthy food, the effects won’t be as great, says Christine Prismar, MD, a professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery at Karolinska Institutet.

However, skipping a meal has no effect on weight if you eat more at other times of the day, says Kirsten Prismar.

– There have been many studies on this subject, perhaps weight is not affected by how and when we eat, but by the amount of food we eat, she says.

When during the day we feel the need to eat and how much and how often we want to eat is individual and partly controlled by our genes. How we are affected by fasting also varies.

– Therefore, there is no diet that suits everyone, everyone has to find the diet that suits them best, she said.

Hear her tell more about how fasting affects the body in episode 126 of KI’s Medicinvetarna podcast where she also talks about the difficulties of studying what people eat (we tend to underreport what we put in), and gives her best nutritional advice (the Mediterranean diet) and theories. That explains why certain fasts can extend life. In the episode, Professor Matti Salberg and researcher Jessica Alm are also interviewed about how they don’t eat breakfast or lunch.

  • Listen to the episode via Itunes
  • listen across Spotify
  • Read a transcript of the long interview with Kirsten Prismar.
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