I have type 2 diabetes and would like to fast intermittently; it’s possible? – 09/07/2021

Yes, it is possible. However, intermittent fasting should be recommended and accompanied by an endocrinologist or nutritionist, as they will make an adequate study of the amount of calories ingested, and will also indicate the correct way to carry out the eating plan.

In addition, during the conversation with the health professional, you will be evaluated if you have other comorbidities, age, lifestyle, physical activity and training intensity. Without forgetting that this meal plan should also be guided in the proper way in relation to the times and durations. On the other hand, if you are taking insulin, like people with type 1 diabetes, intermittent fasting is not recommended. This is because staying a long time without eating any type of food can increase the risk of hypoglycemia.

Other precautions must also be taken into consideration before starting the meal plan. It is necessary to know if the quantity and quality of the meals that will be carried out will be able to supply the metabolic demand of your body. If a caloric deficiency occurs, you may overproduce hunger hormones such as ghrelin. And then the result will be the opposite: food consumption will increase when the fasting stops, and, consequently, weight gain will come, and there may even be a decompensation in blood glucose levels.

To better understand, intermittent fasting is a food restriction plan in which the person stays for a long period without ingesting any type of food or liquids that contain calories. At this time, the body begins to produce the so-called ketone bodies, molecules that seek the energy needed by the body to keep itself active in fat. Therefore, weight loss occurs faster.

But it is important to remember that, even with intermittent fasting, the person may not eliminate calories if at meal times there is excessive food consumption. And intermittent fasting can be done in different ways, such as alternate days, restricted time (around 8 to 16 hours a day), in addition to the 5:2 regimen, in which the person fasts only 2 days a week. So, before starting the eating plan, you already know: find a nutritionist or endocrinologist you trust and talk about it to understand if this diet is a good alternative for you.

Sources: Gabriela Cilla, nutritionist at the NutriCilla Clinic in São Paulo and gastrologist; Luciano Giacaglia, coordinator of the Department of Pre-Diabetes and Syndrome at SBD (Brazilian Society of Diabetes); Teresa Lacerda, endocrinologist at the HU-Univasf/Ebserh (University Hospital of the Federal University of Vale do São Francisco, in Pernambuco / Brazilian Company of Hospital Services).

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