Best Foods To Eat During Intermittent Fasting

  • Post last modified:August 11, 2021
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Whether you want to lose weight, stay young or enhance your immunity, the foods you eat during intermittent fasting can have a big impact.

During fasting, some incredible things happen in the body, such as cell renewal, detoxification, tissue repair, hormone optimization, etc.

Now the question is, after fasting can you eat whatever you want?

In fact, you have two options:

  • One is to eat high-carb, deeply processed junk food as usual.
  • The other option is to focus on nutrient-dense healthy diets.

These two options can lead to very different results.

1. High carb diet and junk foods

We already know that a high-carb diet has a great influence on blood sugar and insulin. One of the benefits of intermittent fasting is to improve insulin sensitivity and effectively control blood sugar.

If you continue eating junk foods after fasting, it can easily cause blood sugar spikes and fluctuations. That, followed by an increase in hunger, can also cause you to overeat.

The damage to the body often exceeds the benefits of fasting. It can also cause overnutrition or malnutrition.

2. Low carb diet and nutrient-dense foods

Nutrient-dense foods are generally rich in fiber, protein and healthy fats.

Generally speaking, these foods can increase satiety and prevent you from being hungry all the time

More importantly, these healthy foods contain more essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Healthy foods can help to reduce inflammation in the body, promote intestinal health and strengthen the immune system. Healthy foods are the icing on the cake for intermittent fasting.

If losing weight is your goal, having a low-carb and well-balanced diet can greatly improve the effect of intermittent fasting.

The benefits of fasting: To lose weight, increase energy, reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, promote heart health, cancer prevention, the promotion of brain health, anti-aging and to simplify your life. More »

What To Eat During Intermittent Fasting?

I have compiled a food list here as a reference for your diet after fasting.

1. Protein

The daily protein intake (RDI) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (0.36 g per pound) of body weight. This number varies with age, gender and the amount of exercise people do. 

For example:

  • 56 grams per day is the average for a sedentary man
  • 46 grams per day is the average for a sedentary woman

Protein can help you lose weight by increasing satiety, reducing appetite and boosting metabolism.

People who exercise regularly can increase muscle strength and burn more calories by eating enough protein.

The best food sources include:

  • poultry
  • fish
  • lean meat
  • eggs
  • seafood
  • seeds
  • nuts
  • beans and soy products
  • milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products

Related:

how to eat during intermittent fasting

2. Carbohydrates

According to the American Dietary Guidelines, 45%-65% of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates.

In addition to protein and fat, carbohydrates are the main source of energy.

Carbs come in many forms. The main ones are starch, sugar and fiber.

Many people realize that carbohydrates are more likely to cause obesity than fat. However, not all carbs are the same. Whether carbs cause weight gain depends on the type and amount of carbohydrates you eat.

The best sources of carbs are fiber-rich vegetables, fruits and whole grains, followed by roots and starchy vegetables. What needs to be avoided are refined carbs and processed foods, such as white rice, flour, bread, pastries, biscuits, juice and canned food.

A 2015 study showed that eating 30 grams of fiber a day can reduce weight and lower blood pressure.

The best sources of carbohydrates for intermittent fasting include:

  • spinach, kale and other green leafy vegetables
  • sweet potatoes
  • carrots
  • green pepper
  • potato
  • onion
  • beetroot
  • radish
  • broccoli
  • sprouts
  • quinoa
  • oatmeal
  • brown rice
  • banana
  • mango
  • apple
  • berries
  • pear
  • avocado
  • almond
  • chia seeds
  • beans
  • chickpeas

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3. Healthy fat

According to the 2015-2020 American Dietary Guidelines, fat should account for 20%-35% of your daily calories. There is good fat and bad fat and fat that falls in-between. [*]

  • Bad fat: The worst type of dietary fat is trans fat. It can increase inflammation in the body, reduces the level of “good” cholesterol and increases the level of “bad” cholesterol. Trans fat is mainly found in fried food and baked goods.
  • In-between fats: Saturated fats are common in the American diet. These kinds of fats have been widely criticized by the medical community in the past, saying that they increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, many studies in recent years have shown that eating saturated fat appropriately is good for health.

The characteristic of saturated fat is that it solidifies after cooling. The most common sources are red meat, whole milk, cheese, coconut oil, etc.

  • Good fats: Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good for your health. They can help lower blood pressure, lower blood lipids and reduce the risk of heart disease.

The best sources of fat include:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • avocado
  • nuts
  • seeds (such as chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds)
  • whole eggs
  • dark chocolate
  • fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel)
  • full-fat yogurt

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4. Dietary fiber

More and more studies have proven that intestinal health is the key to ensuring the overall health of the body.

There are trillions of microbes in our digestive tract that help break down food so the body can better absorb nutrients and energy.

Most of these microorganisms are beneficial bacteria. They are called “probiotics”. In order to maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora, probiotics should account for 90%.

However, poor diet, stress, diseases and drugs may disrupt the balance and even cause leaky gut syndrome.

Excessive intestinal permeability (commonly known as leaky gut) can cause systemic inflammation and hormone imbalance.

Inflammation, imbalance of intestinal flora and hormonal imbalance can cause an imbalance in the body, which may be one of the reasons for weight gain.

One of the ways to improve intestinal health is to eat more fiber-rich foods or supplement your intake with probiotics. 

The best food sources include:

  • sauerkraut
  • kimchi
  • apple cider vinegar
  • pineapple
  • onion
  • garlic
  • bone soup
  • ginger
  • asparagus
  • dandelion
  • yogurt
  • celery
  • beans
  • apple
  • banana
  • berries
  • avocado
  • chia seeds

5. Fluids/beverages

It is important to keep your body hydrated during intermittent fasting. Dehydration can increase the discomfort of fasting, by causing headache, dizziness, hunger or constipation.

Most fruits and vegetables contain water. However, you also need hydration from other sources, such as:

  • water
  • green tea
  • black coffee
  • soda water

Drinking more water can reduce appetite and food intake, increase fat burning and help you to lose weight.

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Summary:

  • Intermittent fasting is one of the healthiest ways to lose weight.
  • Eating vegetables, nuts, seeds, protein and fruits can enhance the weight loss effect of fasting.
  • Ensuring a healthy diet during fasting is the key to preventing malnutrition or overnutrition.
  • You can combine intermittent fasting with other popular diets, like a ketogenic/low-carb diet, to help with your weight loss.

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