The link between weight and gut bacteria
What you eat can affect your gut bacteria, for better and for worse, and changes in your gut bacteria or microbiome can cause weight gain.
The link between weight and gut bacteria is an expanding area of research and the links with weight are shocking.
Scientists know that if they insert the faeces of slim mice, which have lots of good bacteria, into obese mice, the obese mice become slim. When they insert the faeces of the obese mice into the slim mice’s guts, the slim mice become obese. This is called faecal transplant and has been used for humans to the cure chronic diarrhoea infection C. difficile (often caused after overuse of antibiotics). Studies have shown though that there is a huge impact on weight of the receiving patient. Therefore doctors are advised not to to use obese donors.
Obese people have been shown to have a lower number of different bacteria in their guts than non-obese people. Therefore eating a healthy diet is important in weight-management. In clinic I often find that my clients that need to lose weight also have gut problems. These problems can usually be resolved through healthy eating and supplements.
But it is not just weight that is affected by gut problems. Other symptoms can include bloating, wind, catching colds, feeling emotionally low, sleep problems, acne, eczema, heartburn, muscle or joint problems, and much more.
Ways to improve Gut Flora
1. Eat whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods. One of the best ways to maintain gut health involve cutting out the sugar and refined carbs and increasing gut-supporting fibre.
2. Make 75 percent of your plate be vegetables and plant-based foods. Your gut bacteria really love these high-fibre plant foods.
3. Eat good fats like extra virgin olive oil.
4. Eat good quality protein at each meal.
5. Use supplements recommended by an expert. Piling in the probiotic capsules may not be the answer (especially if you have SIBO). I use the 5R approach starting with 'Remove'.
6. Add fibre-rich foods. Nuts, seeds, and prebiotic foods.
7. Add fermented foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and miso contain good amounts of probiotics so your healthy gut bugs can be fruitful and multiply (not for those with SIBO or on a low FODMAPs diet).
To find out more book in for my 1 hour Nutrition Consultation (currently on offer).