Weight and Gut Health
Fat reduction, weight gain, difficulty losing weight or keeping it off are ultimately tied to the health of your gut and the food you eat. The biggest nutrient deficiency in the standard western diet is fibre (soluble fibre), essential to feed the healthy bacteria that promote optimum health, wellbeing and weight control. When approaching fat reduction, starting with a gut healing protocol and Mediterranean diet to get your resident bacteria functioning at their optimum will provide the key plant-based prebiotic – fibre, polyphenols and omega 3’s! Our clinical nutritionists and naturopaths can assist with weight management.
Weight and gut health with Western Diets?
The standard Australian diet (S.A.D) is low in soluble fibre plant food and omega 3 fatty acids. This literally starves your healthy gut microbiota, the essential bacteria that control immune and metabolic function and provides anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and cell energy benefits. If you feed your good bacteria, they produce vital products required for wellness and weight control.
Instead, SAD is high in processed foods, sugar and processed carbs, unhealthy fats (trans fats), animal protein and saturated fats. Some of these lead to the overgrowth of bad bacteria that produce toxins, cause inflammation, disrupting gut barrier function and causing systemic inflammation = weight gain.
Modern life is also full of toxins in food, pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified foods, environmental toxins in pollution, cleaning products, and environmental smells. Our cellular detoxification systems are really good at eliminating most of these. The problem is the amount we are exposed to overwhelms our system, resulting in the build-up of toxic products and free radicals produced. Result = chronic inflammation = weight gain.
People in the Blue Zones have diets that are at least 80 – 90% plant-based, emphasising seasonal vegetables and fruits, legumes, whole grains, and nuts. They tend to eat goat or sheep’s milk products (not cow’s). Meat and sugar are consumed sparingly as celebratory food, small side dish or as flavour.
The Standard Western Diet and why it is not so healthy.
A standard western diet lacks whole foods and contains a host of ingredients that are not so healthy or conducive to weight control.
- Processed foods with high salt content.
- Process foods contain food additives – which can disrupt barrier function, cause gut inflammation.
- Artificial sweeteners induce changes in the microbiome, promote inflammation, insulin resistance and liver injury.
- Saturated fats – found in animal fat and coconut oil – promotes gram -ve bacteria (bad bacteria), which release endotoxin – linked to autoimmunity, obesity.
- Trans fats (found in baked good, fried food, chips, biscuits, nondairy creamer and margarine) – pro-inflammatory and activate the main inflammatory switch in your body – NFk-B
High animal protein content – results in increased species of inflammatory microbes Bilophila wadsworthia, Alistipes and Bacteroides. These species produce toxins like amines, sulphides and secondary bile salts. All result in increased inflammation and leaky gut.
- Amines cause food sensitivity when charred turn to carcinogens.
- Hydrogen sulphide associated with ulcerative colitis
- Secondary bile salts associated with cancer in the gi tract.
Red meat protein vs plant protein effect on gut microbes.
Red Meat in high quantities poses additional problems.
- When consumed L carnitine found in red meat and some energy drinks and supplements, the gut bacteria produce trimethylamine N-oxide or TMAO, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and a whole host of chronic disease. 4 weeks after stopping red meat, peoples TMAO drops dramatically.
Plant protein – increase anti-inflammatory species like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus while suppressing bad bacteria like Bacteroides fragilis and Clostridium perfringens – heal a leaky gut.
Effects of healthy fats.
Healthy fats MUFA – monounsaturated fats found in extra virgin olive oil and omega 3 PUFA -polyunsaturated fats – promote the growth of beneficial microbes, correct dysbiosis, reduce bacterial endotoxin, enhance biodiversity, i.e. protect
Fibre and its role in gut health and weight control.
Fibre – what can restore order and bring out the best in our microbiome – probiotics? Bone broth?
No fibre. If it seems too good to be true – it might just be that we have been ignoring it – Fiber fuelled Dr Bulsiewicz.
Fibre and resistant starch polyphenols pass undigested to the lower bowel, providing food for good bacteria. In return, the good bacteria produce a range of byproducts, including short-chain fatty acids – acetate, butyrate and propionate. Short-chain fatty acids
- suppress the growth of dangerous bacteria – correct dysbiosis – increase bacteria favourable for weight loss
- provide food for gut cell lining
- help fix leaky gut (assist in weight loss by decreasing systemic inflammation.
- help dampen inflammation and stabilise immune function
- help prevent bowel and other cancers
- assist in weight loss by improving metabolic response and improving insulin response
- help lower cholesterol
- helps regulate appetite
- improves mood, cognition
The single greatest predictor of a healthy gut microbiome is the diversity of plants in one’s diet.
For full assessment for weight management, ask for a consultation with our Clinical Nutritionists and Naturopaths. We provide additional treatments for spot reduction of unwanted fat, including CoolTech fat freezing and FMS sculpting. Call us on 3350 5447 for a free assessment with our body therapists.