IMSS warning about the health effects of intermittent fasting without consulting nutritionists

Chihuahua, Chihuahua. The Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) is warning beneficiaries of the potential health damage of an alternative diet known as intermittent fasting, promoted on the Internet and social media by so-called life coaches, who are promoted without scientific support or oversight by medical professionals.

Social Security recalls that it has nutrition strategies such as NutrIMSS that provide tools for healthy eating and offers beneficiaries personalized nutritional counseling at Family Medicine Units (UMF).

Lilia Hernandez Alvarado, Delegated Nutrition Coordinator for the IMSS Decentralized Administrative Operating Entity (OOAD) in Zacatecas, noted that intermittent fasting is a dietary treatment option based on looking for periods of fasting or food restriction to control weight, but among its disadvantages is that By putting the body in a calorie deficit situation, it is not an option in the long run and can cause side effects such as hunger, irritability, nausea, difficulty concentrating, and anxiety.

“Intermittent fasting is different from what we recommend as a healthy diet. We base a healthy diet on a plate of good nutrition, which includes three food groups: cereals such as rice, bread, flatbread; the red group, which are animal proteins, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese, and legumes, which are vegetable proteins such as beans, beans, chickpeas, lentils, and soybeans; the third group is fruits and vegetables, which will provide us with vitamins and minerals,” he said.

Hernandez Alvarado noted that the basis of a healthy diet is the inclusion of foods from each group to cover a person’s nutritional needs, and emphasized that the practice of intermittent fasting can be especially risky for adults over 70, children and adolescents. .

“It is also not recommended for people with a history of eating disorders or people who suffer from anxiety or depression already diagnosed by a mental health professional. We are not going to recommend it to people with chronic kidney disease, because they have a completely different metabolism of fats and proteins, which is due to the nature of their disease,” he said.

The IMSS specialist noted that intermittent fasting is aimed at getting a small amount of calories, less than what a person consumes during the day, so that the body can use other nutrients, such as fat, as its main source of energy and thereby achieve weight loss. in body measurements and percentage of fat mass; however, he pointed out that each organism has a different effect, so it is important to pay special attention when striving for weight loss.

“As alternatives, there are several options lately such as intermittent fasting, the ketogenic diet, the vegetarian diet; The recommendation for the general population is that we eat a healthy diet and then, given our patient, we may be able to tailor some therapeutic options if they are well supervised by a scientifically supported nutritionist. “, said.

Hernandez Alvarado emphasized that IMSS has a team of health professionals such as doctors, nurses, nutritionists and social workers who work together to comprehensively evaluate each patient, “let’s avoid following guidelines issued by places that lack scientific backing, such as social networks. or lifestyle coaches who aren’t going to give you specific advice, they’re talking about generalities, and it’s important that we take care of our health.”

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