Go with Your Gut

There is some important and growing research on our gut microbiome and its relation to our body weight that I’ve been paying attention to lately and so should you.

In a nutshell, it’s not just what we eat or how we eat, it’s how our food is being digested that can affect how we store and absorb calories and their nutrients. In a study published recently in JAMA, scientists took the gut bacteria from fat mice and healthy weight mice and then implanted them in the other. Shockingly the fat mice lost weight and the normal weight mice got fat – and they were given the same type and amount of food!

We have not yet distinguished which of the gut bacteria are the culprits in terms of keeping us slim or fat. But what we do know is that we need a healthy and diverse microbiome in our gut and we need to feed our gut the foods that allow the healthy weight bacteria to flourish.

Here are my recommendations to make sure your gut bacteria are at their most optimal balance:

1)     If you need to go on an antiobiotic please take a probiotic or yogurt with live active cultures daily so that your gut diversity is kept intact. Antibiotics kill the bacteria that’s making you sick along with some of our beneficial gut bacteria.

2)     Keep your gut bacteria and the mucosal lining of your intestine intact by feeding yourself enough fiber – every day. Recommendations are 25-35g daily and sources can come from fruit, vegetables, whole grains and the fiber that is added in various processed bars, etc. Studies have shown that it takes just one day of eating low fiber to reduce our mucosal lining where our healthy gut bacteria live and flourish.

3)     If you went through courses of antibiotic use throughout your life (tetracycline was often used to treat acne in teenagers) and you fear that your digestion has been compromised – and your attempts at losing weight have often failed – it may be time to visit a Naturopath. A Naturopath can help you improve your digestion and re-colonize your gut bacteria so that it’s more diverse and balanced.

Now we know that eating enough fiber every day is not only what keeps us feeling full with less calories – it helps us feed a microbiome that’s likely to keep us at our healthiest weight.

You’re welcome to contact Kathryn at kathrynr@soundhealthconnect.com to discuss your current diet and strategies to better feed your healthy gut.

 

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