Since I was a little kid, I have been fascinated with dieting. Growing up in the 1970s with Rocky Balboa and real-world bodybuilders as role models made nutrition a priority.
But in medical school and post-graduate training, we rarely talked about diet. We talked about pharmaceuticals, tests, and surgical procedures.
Fast forward to now and nutrition is a major focus of my cardiology practice and my life.
There are hundreds of diets out there. If you know me, you know that I am a Paleo guy. It is just common sense that eating the foods enjoyed by our distant ancestors should be the right way.
We are hunter gatherers living in a 21st century world.
The question is, can we stay healthy on ANY diet?
I think the answer is yes, with intermittent fasting.
- When you are not fasting, eat organic food. No matter the food, get the chemicals out. You can be Paleo, Keto, Carnivore, Vegan, Mediterranean or whatever, just go organic.
- When you are not eating, you are fasting.
There are tremendous benefits of intermittent fasting for heart health including:
- Improved blood pressure
- Improved cholesterol
- Improved inflammation
- Improved blood sugar
- Weight loss
I think the above benefits extend to people with coronary disease, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure.
The more we improve inflammation, blood pressure and blood sugar, the better our heart health gets.
Types of Fasts
In short, there are two main ways to fast: intermittent fasting (IF) and time-restricted eating (TRE). Both options will lead to your success and are easier to follow than caloric restriction, especially in the long-term.
IF- typically involves skipping food for a day or longer, only consuming water.
TRE- involves an eating window. For example, 16/8 means fasting for 16 hours and eating during an 8 hour period, say 9 am to 5 pm.
Which Fast is Right For You?
I think both types are heart healthy and there is plenty of science to back it up.
So how do you choose which one? I suggest deciding which one resonates with you best and start with that one. I have done both forms and they are both easy to do.
When in doubt, you can discuss with one of our health coaches. No charge to you, just get your free call by clicking here to reserve your time.
So, in the opinion of this cardiologist, is intermittent fasting bad for your heart, the answer is no.
IF and TRE are great for your heart and your whole body.