As a natural Nutritionist It makes me happy to see Sundays Body & Soul cover a relevant and meaningful health article. An article, which turns the tides on stale thoughts and beliefs and instead offer some insights into what really does matter when it comes to optimal health.
Yesterday’s article “Go with your gut” explained how weight loss might be more dependent on the balance of microbes in our gut as opposed to the calories/kilojoules we keep on or off the plate. We are finally accepting that energy-in-energy-out may work initially but is not the complete picture when it comes to weight loss. Alternatively, taking care of your gut and more specifically weeding out the firmicutes species and assisting the bacteroides species to flourish is key to trimming our waistlines.
We house approximately 2kgs of microbes in our stomach so you can begin to realise how much of an impact our gut microbiota has on our health. When talking microbes and weight loss:
>>>>Bacteroides metabolise less energy from foods and are associated with weight loss
>>>>Firmicutes harvest more energy from foods and are associated with weight gain and metabolic syndrome
Essentially what we eat determines our balance of microbes and whether it tips in favour of bacteroides species or not. For example low-carbohydrate diets and diets high in refined grains promote the flourishing of firmicutes. However, not only diet but also lifestyle has an impact. For example shift-workers are believed to have increased firmicutes and exercise has an impact also.
Weight loss aside, numerous health conditions are also associated with increased firmicutes : bacteroides for example Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some autoimmune conditions. Increasing the importance of taking care of our gut.
So at the end of the day remember: without dietary change, especially increased diversity, you won’t shift your microbiota balance. Diet diversity is often challenging in the short-term but critical long-term for a healthy microbiota balance and overall health.
If you have a gut feeling your microbiota is holding back your weight loss or health efforts, apart from dietary and lifestyle analysis, various testing can be undertaken to identify your specific microbe balance and see if some weeding out is necessary. I am fascinated by this area of health and would enjoy assisting your microbe balance shift towards better health.
Enjoy! Casey Dick | Passionate Dedicated Natural Nutritionist | Brisbane, Australia