The "health / food" pairing has always caught the attention of the scientific world. According to Valter Longo, an Italian scientist and professor of gerontology at the University of Southern California, it is possible to reprogram the body, slowing down the aging process of cells, through a scientifically and clinically tested meal protocol (the Fasting Mimicking Diet, also known as the 5-day diet). The Fasting Mimicking Diet is becoming more and more popular among healthy food addicts and not only. The beneficial effects received are very numerous, as are the questions and the curiosity that this diet raises.
Today, Dr. Alda Attinà, nutrition biologist, responsible and coordinator of the scientific department of L-Nutra, will answer the most frequently asked questions related to the 5 day diet (the Fasting Mimicking Diet).
Doctor, more and more people follow and want to join the dietary protocol of the fasting diet (FMD). What do you think?
"Please notice that the growing number of people who are opening up and interested in the issue of fasting therapy is fascinating. More specifically, I believe that this interest in the FMD is because it is not about a classic diet only aiming at losing weight, but protocol designed to face cellular aging’’
What is the most common side effect during the 5-day diet? What is possible to do?
"One of the most common side effects is headache, and the use of drugs (such as pain killers or anti-inflammatories) during the fasting diet is discouraged, only if advised by a doctor. Hydration is a way to avoid this feeling of dizziness during the 5 days. It is advisable to drink at least 2.5 litres of water per day as indicated in instructions contained in the box".
Is it possible to replace one of the components contained in the kit?
"The ProLon® kit, as it is composed, is the result of scientific research that confirms its effectiveness. Remove, replace or add a component (salt, oil) is strongly discouraged, because it would spoil the formulation tested in the laboratory, which has brought about the clinical results. In case of allergies (i.e. nuts, nickel), it is better, from the beginning, to away from the FMD.
During the 5-day meal plan, what should we avoid and what should we do?
"As mentioned before, hydration is important. Besides, you must avoid the exposure to extreme temperatures (for example, very hot or very cold showers, saunas). During the 5 days, physical activity must be avoided. The cells of our body, exploiting the fasting mimicking condition, are in regeneration phase; therefore, it is better not to tire the body. Then resuming the physical activity will be even more enjoyable, thanks to the spike of energy and vitality!"
How often must the blood pressure be measured?
"In patients without blood pressure problems, a measurement must be done before the beginning of FMD, and then monitored during the 5-day cycle. However, for those suffering from pressure disorders, it would be better to monitor it and keep the values under control at different times of the day."
Is it necessary to follow a specific diet after FMD?
"It is better to have a transition day by gradually introducing the usual foods. Animal proteins and their derivatives must be avoided, such as meat and dairy products, in accordance with the principle of the longevity diet. The fish, small and blue fish can be consumed even twice a week. You can resume a diet with a bit more of solid foods (i.e. small portions of cereals and whole-wheat pasta.) Vegetables must never miss, it doesn’t matter if cooked or raw. When it comes to snacks, prefer dried fruits with seasonal fruits, to be consumed out of meals to avoid sugar overload”.
If a person does not go into ketosis, is there a risk of nullifying the benefits of the FMD?
"The answer is not so linear. The outset of our body into ketosis varies from a person to another and does not appear immediately among all the people. This depends a lot on the starting metabolism, if it is subject to insulin resistance, it may start ketosis later. However, this does not mean that FMD does not work, but, as the scientific articles and the professor's research show, its effectiveness also affects other areas of our body, regardless of ketosis ".
Give us an example
"First of all, the glucose and cholesterol values are drastically reduced. The reduction in abdominal circumference, which causes fat loss, is also one of the effects of FMD. the number of people who subsequently changed their eating habits, preferring more and more healthy food in their daily lifestyle, so the desired result, I repeat, does not only occur with an outset into ketosis, but also with cellular regeneration and improvement of other parameters because the body is in a state of fasting mimicking ".
A question that many are asking is if the use of caffeine is allowed
"For best results, during the FMD, caffeine must be completely avoided, even if a cup of coffee a day was allowed at the beginning. Even the use of teas other than those in the box is not recommended."
When should the preliminary and consecutive analyses to the FMD be conducted?
Analyses can also be performed the day before the FMD starts. At the end, you have to allow the metabolism time to readjust. I generally recommend that no earlier than 15/20 days, because the molecular pathways could still be in the reset phase. "