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We’ve all heard about the incredible health benefits of fasting.
In fact, research has shown fasting has the power to do everything from dousing the fires of the inflammation that fuels disease to propping up a failing immune system and enhancing longevity.
And now there’s more good news on the fasting front.
Not only will fasting help protect you against dementia in four very important ways, you can do it in a manner that’s not really fasting at all — but more of a pretend fast.
The keyword is “mimicking”
What we’re talking about is called the fast-mimicking diet or FMD.
And it’s a diet that’s already been put through its paces by researchers.
Invented by a team of scientists led by Professor Valter Longo, the diet is high in unsaturated fats, but low in overall calories, protein, and carbohydrates in order to mimic the effects of a water-only fast, while still providing necessary nutrients.
And Professor Longo’s team has already been able to demonstrate that it possesses a wide range of beneficial effects, including the promotion of stem cell regeneration, the lessening of chemotherapy side effects and the lowering of risk factors for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other age-related conditions.
Now, the scientists have pitted the diet against dementia with hope-inspiring results…
4 proven brain benefits
First, the team tried out the diet in mice models of Alzheimer’s who were fed the fasting-mimicking diet for four or five days twice per month and allowed to eat normally the rest of the time.
And the researchers found that the FMD fought back against dementia in four ways:
- First, it lowered the levels of amyloid beta — the primary driver of plaque buildup in the brain.
- Second, it reduced hyperphosphorylated tau protein, which forms tangles in the brain.
- Third, it resulted in lower levels of brain inflammation, including a reduction in the number of active microglia, the immune cells that seek and destroy pathogens and damaged cells in the brain.
- Finally, the diet lowered levels of oxidative stress, which plays a role in Alzheimer’s pathology by damaging neurons and contributing to the accumulation of amyloid in the brain.
Because of all this, the Alzheimer’s mice on the FMD showed less cognitive decline than their standard diet counterparts.
How to mimic fasting
So how can you put the diet that mimics fasting to work for you to guard against dementia?
Past research has set the diet to the following:
- The first day, you consume 1,100 calories (11% from protein, 46% from fat and 43% from carbohydrates).
- For the next four days, you’ll consume just 725 calories per day (9% protein, 44% fat and 47% carbohydrates).
Since those ratios are very important, you should be careful about choosing foods that represent the correct macronutrient profile.
I was able to find a fast mimicking diet plan with recipes here for reference.
You can also order a five-day FMD box, with all your meals ready to go, from companies like ProLon, to make things easier.
One thing Dr. Longo has advised previously is that if you’re eating the right foods, eat more of them, not less.
Editor’s note: While you’re doing all the right things to protect your brain as you age, make sure you don’t make the mistake 38 million Americans do every day — by taking a drug that robs them of an essential brain nutrient! Click here to discover the truth about the Cholesterol Super-Brain!
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What Is the Fasting Mimicking Diet? — US News & World Report
Fasting-mimicking diet reduces signs of dementia in mice — ScienceDaily