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Intermittent Fasting
Does Fasting Lower Blood Pressure? Here’s How It Can Help Your Heart
Intermittent Fasting

Does Fasting Lower Blood Pressure? Here’s How It Can Help Your Heart

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Fact checked by Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Last update: August 8, 2022
4 min

Intermittent fasting has many health benefits, including weight loss, reduced inflammation, and increased autophagy. It may also help lower blood pressure. In this article, we assess the evidence that fasting can help lower blood pressure. Read on to find out more.

does fasting lower blood pressure

Intermittent fasting is a popular dieting style many people have successfully used to lose weight. Along with weight loss, intermittent fasting comes with a ton of other health benefits.

Other health benefits of intermittent fasting include reducing cardiovascular risk factors, reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases, like heart disease and metabolic syndrome, and having a positive effect on blood sugar levels. Intermittent fasting may also positively affect blood pressure.

In this article, we’re going to look at how fasting affects blood pressure levels and whether it can help with high blood pressure. Take a look now to find out more.

Does Fasting Lower Blood Pressure?

Research has found that fasting can help lower blood pressure, though there may be some disparity depending on when you choose to undertake your fasting period. In this research, for those who ate in the late afternoon and evening and fasted in the morning, blood pressure was unchanged or elevated.

On the other hand, some studies have found that blood pressure is reduced, no matter the time when fasting is undertaken. Indeed, one study found that both diastolic blood pressure and systolic blood pressure were reduced.

High blood pressure is a key risk factor in developing heart conditions, so intermittent fasting is considered a good method of promoting heart health. However, many studies have been done on small groups of humans and animals. More research may be needed to confirm the benefits of fasting on blood pressure.

Along with fasting, there are many other ways to maintain healthy blood pressure. You can begin by losing any excess weight. This can be done by trying a weight loss diet like intermittent fasting or the ketogenic diet. It can also be done by eating at a caloric deficit and burning more calories each day.

You could increase your physical activity too. You could take up running, start rowing for weight loss or even take up cycling to burn calories. You may also want to reduce sodium in your diet, limit alcohol, and reduce stress levels.

Can Fasting Raise Blood Pressure?

Some studies show an increase in systolic blood pressure in fasting patients, but this was only observed in the early evening hours. In addition, previously mentioned research showed similar results, with elevated blood pressure in the late afternoon and early evening hours.

However, most data shows that fasting actually improves high blood pressure. Though most studies have been done on smaller groups or using animals, it is generally conclusive that intermittent fasting helps lower blood pressure.

Those with hypertension are likely to be looking for ways to reduce their blood pressure, and intermittent fasting might help. However, anyone looking to try fasting to help with high blood pressure should speak with their doctor to ensure they understand any risks that may come from the diet.

Though intermittent fasting has many benefits, some should not try it. These include those with kidney problems, those with a history of eating disorders, and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How Long to Fast to Reduce Blood Pressure?

It is thought that the blood pressure drop that occurs during fasting usually happens between 8–12 hours after beginning the fast. Research suggests the blood pressure drop occurs as the body shifts into the metabolic state of ketosis and begins burning fat and ketones for fuel.

For this reason, some intermittent fasting styles are probably more suitable if your aim is low blood pressure. Fasting styles like the 14:10 method, the 16:8 method, the Warrior Diet, and alternate-day fasting require longer fasting periods and could be more useful for those looking after their heart health.

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That being said, it is always important to speak with a doctor about any method you are undertaking to lower your blood pressure before beginning it to ensure you’re not risking your health. It is also important to remember that low blood pressure can be dangerous too.

Though intermittent fasting has many beneficial effects, it is not the only method of lowering blood pressure. Indeed, it is possible to lower blood pressure by changing your diet and increasing exercise. For example, you could try taking up cycling or walking a few miles every day.

Can Water Fasting Clean Arteries?

While it is possible to reduce further plaque build-up in your arteries, you cannot clean them without surgery or invasive treatment. This means that water fasting – a type of fasting where you cannot consume anything but water during your fasting periods – cannot clean your arteries.

There is some evidence that intermittent fasting could have a positive effect on atherosclerosis and may reduce cholesterol. A reduction in cholesterol levels could help reduce blockages or the risk of blockages in arteries. Cholesterol attaches to arterial walls and becomes plaque, increasing the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions.

There are other methods of reducing cholesterol and plaque build-up in arteries that don’t involve fasting. You could try eating heart-healthy foods, eliminating saturated and trans fats, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, and increasing your physical activity.

Increasing exercise levels can improve your overall health. You can increase your exercise by running long distances or taking up regular walks.


Does being hungry raise blood pressure?

It is thought that blood pressure may actually drop slightly when you are hungry. However, if you haven’t eaten in a long time and have entered a starvation state, your blood pressure may be raised.

Is water fasting good for the heart?

There is some evidence that water fasting is good for your heart. It can help you reduce weight by imposing a natural calorie restriction and may reduce the risk of certain heart conditions, including heart disease.

Is fasting good for the heart?

Fasting is thought to reduce the risk of certain heart conditions, including heart disease. It may reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure, both of which can increase the risk of developing heart illnesses.

A Word From a Nutritionist

High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where the pressure in blood vessels is higher than what it should be, putting pressure on the vessel walls, heart, and other organs. Hypertension has been linked to several heart conditions.

High BP causes the heart to pump blood faster and harder, leading to complications, including a higher heart rate and more stress on your heart.

There are many ways you can reduce hypertension, including weight loss, increasing exercise levels, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, and eating a low sodium diet. You may also try fasting.

Intermittent fasting is a dieting method that has helped many people lose weight. It comes with a range of other health benefits, too, one of them being a reduction in blood pressure. Many studies have shown positive effects on blood pressure, though some suggest that there may be variations in this effect depending upon the time you choose to fast.

Intermittent fasting can help even healthy individuals improve their overall health by reducing inflammation, increasing autophagy, and promoting weight loss. The method induces a caloric restriction, and fasting for long periods can push your body into the metabolic state of ketosis. All of these factors help people lose weight.

There is growing evidence that fasting for short periods each day (usually at least 12 hours) can help boost your health. It is important to speak with a doctor before using a dieting method to reduce blood pressure.


Intermittent fasting is well-known for its many health benefits, and it may have a positive effect on blood pressure. There are a few studies that suggest fasting can significantly lower BP; however, lots of these studies have been done on smaller groups. Bigger studies may be needed.

There are many other ways to reduce your blood pressure, including more exercise, less sodium, and eating foods high in heart-healthy ingredients.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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