What is the fasting-mimicking diet? And more health-related questions Canadians are asking this week

The five day diet has been linked to decreasing your biological age by 2.5 years in a new study.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle.

A new diet has Canadians heading online in search of more information. (Image via Canva)
A new diet has Canadians heading online in search of more information. (Image via Canva)

When they're not searching for news on the weather or the latest news on their favourite hockey teams, Canadians turn to the internet daily for answers on their most pressing health concerns.

This week, Canadians were on the hunt for answers regarding a new diet that "mimics" intermittent fasting for five days out of the month. Web searches for the fasting-mimicking diet increased by 750 per cent this week, after a new study reported that the diet can actually turn back the clock on your biological age.

What is the fasting-mimicking diet (FMD)?

What is the fasting-mimicking diet? (Image via Getty Images)
What is the fasting-mimicking diet? (Image via Getty Images)

A new study suggests following the fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) can help reduce signs of immune system aging, insulin resistance and liver fat.

The study, which was published to Nature Communications earlier this week, found that male and female participants between the ages of 18 and 70 who completed three FMD diet cycles “were associated with a decrease of 2.5 years in median biological age.”

Although FMD is similar to intermittent fasting, it only requires you to follow a low-calorie, plant-based diet for five days a month to “mimic fasting without fasting” to “trick” the body into believing you’re following a fasting window.

Day 1: Of the total 1,100 calories consumed, 11 per cent should come from protein, 46 per cent from fat and 43 per cent from carbohydrates.

Days 2-5: Calories are restricted to just 725 per day, with 9 per cent coming from protein, 44 per cent from fat and 47 per cent from carbohydrates.

People following this plan should drink a minimum of 70 ounces of water and only follow the diet for five days before returning to a “normal” diet. Repeating the fast for five days once a month for three consecutive months can help participants achieve “optimal results.”

Consult your healthcare provider before attempting FMD, especially if you have preexisting conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or liver disease. FMD is not recommended for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people who are underweight or with nutritional deficiencies or anyone who has a history of eating disorders.

What are the signs of salmonella infections?

A recent recall of pork cold cuts was linked to 87 cases of salmonella. (Image via Getty Images)
A recent recall of pork cold cuts was linked to 87 cases of salmonella. (Image via Getty Images)

Earlier this month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported new cases of salmonella infections linked to charcuterie packages of the pork cut Coppa by Fratelli Beretta tested positive for the bacteria. In total, 87 cases of salmonella that sent 18 people to hospital were linked to the outbreak which was first detected in November 2023.

The recent report from the CDC prompted Canadians to head to the internet and caused a 350 per cent increase in web searches for salmonella infection symptoms.

Salmonella bacteria can be transmitted from the feces of animals and people to other animals and people, however Johns Hopkins Medicine says most cases of salmonella in food are "animal in origin."

Eating raw or undercooked eggs, poultry and beef , unwashed fruits or vegetables increases your risk of salmonella infection or handling animals and reptiles.

Symptoms of salmonella infection typically appear within 73 hours of infection and include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, chills, headache, nausea or vomiting. Infections "run their course" within seven days and typically don't require treatment, unless you become dehydrated or the infection advances to requiring immediate medical attention.

Keeping your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean, washing your hands and cooking your food properly can help prevent salmonella infections.

Can men have postpartum depression?

One in 10 fathers will experience postpartum depression. (Image via Getty Images)
One in 10 fathers will experience postpartum depression. (Image via Getty Images)

Studies have shown that approximately 1 in 7 women will develop postpartum depression, however did you know that fathers are also at risk of developing depression and anxiety after the birth of a baby?

Canadians had paternal mental health on their minds this week, with web searches for male postpartum depression increasing by 150 per cent. According to research, approximately 1 in 10 men will develop postpartum depression and anxiety and can have serious impacts on the family dynamic.

Some men may exhibit signs prior to the birth of their child, and are at an increased risk for depression if their partner is already experiencing depression or anxiety. In addition to a family or personal history of depression, sleep deprivation and the transition into parenthood can all set the scene for mental health issues, which for men are traditionally at their worst when the child is 3 to 6 months old.

Symptoms of postpartum depression in men include:

  • outbursts of anger or violent behaviour

  • irritability

  • physical pain such as headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches

  • problems with digestion

  • suicidal ideation or thoughts of self harm

  • increase in impulsive behaviours including increase in alcohol or drug use

  • memory problems

  • working too little or too much

  • sleeping more than usual

  • loss of appetite or eating more than usual

If you suspect you or someone you know may be struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety, contact your healthcare provider.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call Talk Suicide Canada at 1-833-456-4566 (24/7) or text 45645 (4 p.m. — 12 a.m. EST). Free and confidential mental health support is available 24/7 from Wellness Together Canada.

In the event of an emergency, call 911 and seek immediate medical attention.

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