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Intermittent fasting could cut weight and delay aging – but there’s a problem – SlashGear



Intermittent fasting could unlock lower rates of cancer and obesity as well as cut stress and even make us live longer, new research suggests, but significant hurdles are getting in the way of the diet’s advantage. Rather than the typical current diet plan of three meals per day, spread out fairly evenly through daylight hours, intermittent fasting sees people squeeze their meals into just a handful of hours.

It’s not a new concept, but it has gained traction in recent years with the rise of so-called “paleo” diets and greater attention paid toward atypical eating routines. At the same time, studies have looked at potential health and lifestyle benefits, focusing on how intermittent fasting can prompt what’s known as a metabolic switch, the body shifting from using glucose-based to ketone-based energy.

Usually, those following an intermittent fasting plan would eat within a six hour window each day, and then fast for the remaining 18 hours, though some extend that to as much as 20 hours. The potential benefits from that are more than just around weight loss. According to a new review by Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D., and Mark P. Mattson, Ph.D., of John Hopkins University School of Medicine, “many of the health benefits of intermittent fasting are not simply the result of reduced free-radical production or weight loss.”


Benefits of intermittent fasting

According to the review, “intermittent fasting elicits evolutionarily conserved, adaptive cellular responses that are integrated between and within organs in a manner that improves glucose regulation, increases stress resistance, and suppresses inflammation.” During periods of fasting, the body’s cells would normally shift into processes where damage is removed or repaired, and cellular stress is addressed. However, given the meal cadence of the typical diet, the processes don’t have much time to work.

One of the best-known benefits of intermittent fasting is a change in how the body generates its energy. After a meal, glucose from food is used for energy; fat is stored for later use. When fasting, that fat is broken down in turn, with the liver converting fatty aides to ketone bodies.

Those ketone bodies aren’t just a sign of fat being broken down, but act as “potent signaling molecules” for our cells and organs. For example, they can influence how proteins, molecules, and genes that influence factors like aging, neurodegenerative disorders, and overall health – among other factors – are produced. Other studies found intermittent fasting could also help improve glucose regulation, manage blood pressure, and cut down on body fat.

The problem with intermittent fasting

While the science may be there, the lifestyle changes for intermittent fasting are a much bigger issue, the study’s authors conclude. Perhaps the biggest issue is that we’re just not in the habit of abstaining for extended periods of the day.

“First, a diet of three meals with snacks every day is so ingrained in our culture that a change in this eating pattern will rarely be contemplated by patients or doctors,” they suggest. “The abundance of food and extensive marketing in developed nations are also major hurdles to be overcome.”

There are also barriers to sticking with such a diet, like the inevitable hunger, irritability, and a loss in concentration. That’s usually limited to the first month, the researchers point out, but it can be a significant hurdle during that period, and it relies on healthcare professionals making clear that it’s a temporary side-effect. Problem is, it’s also suggested, physicians themselves often lack the training to give good intermittent fasting advice.

Could a pill replace intermittent fasting?

One other avenue of research, mainly in animal models, has been the hunt for a pharmacologic alternative: a pill that replicates the benefits of intermittent fasting. That has included drugs that impose the same sort of challenge to the body’s metabolic system that fasting does, or that specifically triggers the sort of processes that go on during ketosis.

We’re still some way from a pill that can do that, however. According to the researchers, “the available data from animal models suggest that the safety and efficacy of such pharmacologic approaches are likely to be inferior to those of intermittent fasting.” In short, if you want the best results, you need to stick to the diet.

The best intermittent fasting diet

There are several diet structures that all fall under the umbrella term of “intermittent fasting,” and there’s no one single perfect meal plan for every person. The most common is probably the daily time-restricted feeding regimen, where you eat within a period of around six hours, and then avoid food for the remaining 18 hours period.

However there’s also the 5:2 intermittent-fasting regimen to consider. That limits daily calorific intake to just 500 calories on two days per week, with regular healthy eating on the remaining five days. Whichever structure is picked, there should be a focus on exercise and meal nutrition too.

What intermittent fasting shouldn’t be, though, is a sudden blow to the system. That, at the very least, is a recipe for quickly giving up on the diet. Instead, a four month transition period – preferably with regular monitoring of body weight, along with glucose and ketone levels – is recommended, in the hope of making a long-term behavioral change that maximizes the diet’s potential benefits to health.

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The Key Role of Trustworthy Babysitters in Balancing Work and Family Life




Are you a busy parent in constant pursuit of the elusive work-life balance? We know firsthand how overwhelming and challenging it can be to juggle professional commitments while still having quality time with your children.

That’s why we’re here to discuss an essential ingredient that unlocks the secret to harmony: trustworthy babysitters.

What Characteristics Parents Should Look for When Choosing a Babysitter?

Parents should look for a few key characteristics when choosing a babysitter. A good babysitter should be patient, responsible, and reliable. They should also be comfortable with children and have prior experience caring for them.

Besides, the babysitter must be able to communicate effectively and follow directions well. The babysitter should be someone the parents can trust to care for their children in their absence.


Strategies for Parents to Establish Reasonable Anticipations

As a parent, finding babysitters you can trust to care for your children is vital. However, it is also important to establish reasonable expectations for your babysitters.

Some tips for establishing reasonable expectations for babysitters include:

  1. Set clear expectations: Sit down with your babysitter to discuss bedtime routines, dietary preferences, and any necessary medications.
  2. Allow flexibility: While clarity is vital, also provide room for your babysitter to use their judgment and feel comfortable in their role.
  3. Trust their expertise: Once expectations are set, trust your babysitter’s judgment as a professional caregiver to avoid undermining their authority and creating discomfort in their role.

Determining a Fair Payment Plan

Determine your babysitting budget, factoring in your income and family size, while researching local rates. Account for the babysitter’s experience and qualifications, giving preference to those recommended by trusted sources.

Engage in open negotiations with your chosen babysitter. This aims to find a mutually agreeable arrangement that accommodates both your budget and their needs.

Tips on Finding Trustworthy and Compassionate Caregivers

When seeking a caregiver for your child, to ensure you find the right fit:

  • Seek recommendations from trusted sources such as friends, family, and neighbours who may have suggestions for caregivers in your area.
  • Conduct online research to review feedback and check references to gauge candidates’ qualifications and experience.
  • Request references and contact details from the caregivers’ previous employers or families they have worked with.
  • Trust your instincts and ensure you feel at ease with the caregiver, ensuring they are someone you can entrust with your child’s well-being.


Being able to trust your babysitter means you can have peace of mind knowing your child is safe and cared for.

Spending some time researching online reviews or asking friends and family for recommendations will help you find the perfect fit so you can feel more at ease while juggling work commitments in today’s hectic world.

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Facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home



THUNDER BAY — St. Joseph’s Care Group and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit have declared a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home, part of the St. Joseph’s Heritage complex on Carrie Street near Red River Road.

The respiratory outbreak at the 112-bed facility was declared effective Sept. 15 but only announced publicly on Monday.

No details were provided with regard to the number of people affected to date.

Restrictions are now in place for admissions, transfers, discharges, social activities and visitation until further notice.




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Alberta COVID hospitalizations up 73% since July: health minister



Three weeks after the start of the school year, Alberta’s health minister provided an update on the spread of airborne viruses in the province.

Adriana LaGrange also said more information about flu and next-generation COVID-19 vaccines will soon be released.

“Now that we will be spending more time indoors, we need to make doubly sure we are following proper hygiene protocols like handwashing and staying home when sick,” LaGrange said. “It also means respecting those who choose to wear a mask.”


Global News previously reported that influenza vaccines will be available on Oct. 16 with the new Moderna vaccine formulated to target the XBB.1.5 variant likely to be available at around the same time. On Sept. 12, Health Canada approved the use of the Moderna vaccine.

“More information on immunizations against respiratory viruses including influenza and COVID-19 will be available shortly,” the health minister said.

LaGrange said there have been 28 cases of influenza and five lab-confirmed cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) since Aug. 28.

“This is consistent activity for this time of the year,” the health minister said in a statement.

The end of August or the beginning of September has typically marked the beginning of flu season for provincial health authorities.

LaGrange also provided an update on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the province.

From Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, there were a total 92 new hospitalizations and three ICU admissions, bringing the total to 417 in hospital and seven in ICU, a 73 per cent increase of COVID hospitalizations from the last reported info.

On July 24 – the last update to the province’s COVID data dashboard – there were only 242 in hospital.

“Sadly, five Albertans died during that period due to COVID-19,” LaGrange said.

LaGrange said the reporting dashboard is being refreshed to include RSV, influenza and COVID-19 data, work that was originally expected to be completed on Aug. 30. The latest data on the province’s influenza statistics dashboard is dated July 22.

“This work is currently underway and will be available in the coming weeks,” LaGrange said.

She said data for the dates between July 24 and Aug. 27 will be available when the new dashboard goes online.

Amid more hospitals continent-wide reinstating masking requirements in the face of increased hospitalizations, the health minister made no mention of any such moves for Alberta hospitals. Acute care COVID-19 outbreaks in Alberta jumped from Sept. 5 to 12, with 146 per cent more healthcare workers and 55 per cent more patients testing positive for COVID.

LaGrange stressed the “collective responsibility” to prevent the spread of airborne viruses like COVID and influenza.

“As a mother and grandmother, I understand the anxiety that comes with sending your children back to school. I want to reassure you that Alberta’s government has the health and well-being of all young Albertans top of mind,” the health minister said.

–with files from Meghan Cobb, Global News



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