The pros and cons of intermittent fasting

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Fan Zhihong, a nutritionist and a member of the board of directors of the Chinese Nutrition Society, and an associate professor of nutrition and food safety at the China Agricultural University in Beijing, says:

Pros

Intermittent fasting is unlikely to cause anorexia or to pose other health risks for most people and is particularly recommended for those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or other disorders linked to overeating.

It is more feasible than many other diet plans, and is useful in helping people lose weight and to keep fit to some extent.

Cons

Long-term research on humans is needed to prove that intermittent fasting has the numerous health benefits ascribed to it, such as anti-aging or increasing life span.

Intermittent fasting is unsuitable for some people, such as those who have diseases of the digestive tract, who have been on diets for extended periods, and those who are undernourished.

Even though intermittent fasting can be relatively easy to practice, it is unsafe to prolong a fast or to gorge oneself on non-fasting days.