News + Research

New health trend focuses on fasting

There’s a new dieting trend joining the ranks of keto and clean eating. Intermittent fasting has quickly grown to the most popular diet for managing weight and improving health, practiced by as many as 10% of Americans.1

Its popularity is driven, in part, by its simplicity — the potential of losing weight and improving your health without preparing special meals or counting calories. This type of fasting puts restrictions on when you can eat, usually limiting food intake during a designated time frame. By fasting, your body burns through the calories from your last meal and starts burning fat.

Potential health benefits

• Reducing calories will likely cause you to lose weight.

• Early studies show intermittent fasting can reduce inflammation2 and potentially decrease the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease3 and gum disease.4

• Intermittent fasting can also help the brain by improving both thinking and memory.5

• One study found that intermittent fasting can even lead to a longer life, leaner body and sharper mind.6

Health considerations

• No matter what time you eat, it’s important for your oral and overall health to maintain a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits, veggies, dairy and lean proteins. Read our article for more on how to handle food cravings.

• Intermittent fasting can not only make you feel hungry and tired, but it may also cause you to feel sick. You may suffer from insomnia, nausea, headaches, dry mouth or acid reflux.

• Not eating for an extended period can increase cortisol, the stress hormone, which can spur problems such as teeth grinding and mouth sores.

Our verdict: Check with your physician before considering intermittent fasting or any other diet change. Remember that eating a well-balanced diet, exercising and getting enough sleep are always best for your oral and overall health.