Do fasting diets actually cut cancer risk

A study into fasting diets, as with the 5:2 diet has lead to the development of an evidence-informed opinion piece that says fasting may help to prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes and even cancer.
However, the reliability of the results has been questioned by NHS Choices, who decry publications that have published inciting headlines that jump to conclusions and hold this diet as sacred.
The study that has sparked off this media debate was published in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and it dealt with whether or not fasting could reduce cancer risk.
However the truth is, the NHS has written, to the question “Does the 5:2 diet prevent cancer?” is quite simply “we don’t know.”
The study that was reported gave an overview of evidence surrounding low calorie diets and intermittent fasting, without adding any new evidence about the 5:2 in particular.
Furthermore, the subject ate a Mediterranean diet on the days when she didn’t fast, and NHS advice says that “the best way to reduce your cancer risk is to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, and is low in red and processed meat and salt,” – Mediterranean diet. Therefore it can’t be said that the fasting was solely responsible.
The main argument for diets which include days of fasting (the 5:2 is so named as the diet consists of five days of ‘eat what you want’, followed by two days of fasting), is that in our evolutionary history, eating three meals a day would not have naturally happened; we would have had to adapt and would have been used to going for prolonged periods of time without eating.
Unfortunately everything that is broadcast in the media as fact may not be as reliable as made out. Try whatever diets you wish, but make sure to stay healthy. Incorporating more exercise into your daily life will go a long way to improving health, fitness, and waistline.

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