Monday, January 27, 2020

Time Restricted Eating as a Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome

The combination of physical activity, a healthy eating pattern, and lifestyle modification are the most employed treatments for weight loss, weight management, and other metabolic conditions. One important metabolic condition is metabolic syndrome. A modified eating pattern or diet is being looked at for addressing the syndrome. That modified eating pattern is an adaptation of intermittent fasting (IF). The modified eating pattern is called time restricted eating.

Metabolic syndrome is a set of unhealthy conditions. The Mayo Clinic defines metabolic syndrome as a cluster of conditions that "include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels."

Intermittent fasting, typically, is where an individual follows a very low calorie diet on some days of the week, and a normal calorie diet on the other days of the week. An adaptation of the IF idea is time restricted eating. It's where an individual only eats during a specific number of hours per day, while eating nothing during the other hours of the day. An individual would only eat between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM, for example.

Researchers in a small study of nineteen participants investigated the effects of a time restricted eating pattern on the metabolic syndrome. In the twelve week study, the participants only ate during a period of about ten hours, and fasted for about fourteen hours.

The researchers concluded that for the study participants, there was a lowering of blood pressure, an average three percent weight loss, and improvements in blood glucose and cholesterol. This leads one to believe that time restricted eating could be an effective treatment for metabolic syndrome, since there was improvement in components that are usually included in the cluster that defines the syndrome.

The above mentioned study was a small study. Therefore, more research is needed into the effectiveness of time restricted eating patterns in the treatment of metabolic syndrome. Still,  considering time restricted eating patterns as a possible treatment for metabolic syndrome may not be a bad idea.

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