How Gut Health & Weight Are Connected
Maintaining a healthy level of muscle and body fat (which is what most of us actually want when we refer to our weight) is one of the most impactful toggles on your overall health, longevity, and medical expenses. In the U.S. alone, in the U.S., 2 out 3 people are either overweight or obese. Furthermore, obese individuals spend 42% more of direct healthcare costs than normal-weight adults!
And guess what? Your chances of gaining or losing weight can be determined by the health and diversity of your gut microbes.
Let’s explore some links between your gut microbes and your ability to gain or lose weight.
But first I’d just like to remind you that there is still time to sign up for my free online class tomorrow (details here. Hope you will join me!).
The bacteria in your gut have more essential functions to your health than you know. We discussed in the past how your gut plays a role in strengthening your immune system and in keeping your mood in check. But basically, your gut microbes regulate your metabolism, help in the absorption of nutrients, and even manage your weight.
Gut bacteria are essential in breaking down complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
But, there’s a problem when the environment in your gut is not healthy. Dysbiosis happens when there is an imbalance in your gut’s microbial community, in which the beneficial bacteria are outnumbered by the disease-causing organisms (aka pathogens).
And what causes dysbiosis?
Every one of us is born with a different combination of gut microbes, but your lifestyle plays a big part in your gut health.
What you eat and what you do influences your gut microbes. According to studies, the gut microbiome of overweight and obese individuals have patterns of dysbiosis that are different than the gut microbiome patterns of healthy individuals.
There are 3 main contributors to dysbiosis:
- High sugar levels in the blood
The typical Western diet is high in both fat and sugar, which is both inflammatory and really harmful to your gut microbes. And we’re not talking about good quality fats from olives, avocados, wild/pastures meats/seafood, nuts and seeds or natural sugars from fruit and starchy veggies–but poor quality, processed versions that we simply wouldn’t have access to in nature. Speaking of low quality food sources, animals raised in feedlots receive low doses of antibiotics to gain weight faster. When we ingest those animals and their byproducts (like dairy), those antibiotics effect our microbiome and contribute to unhealthy patterns. So, the foods you eat regularly play a significant role in whether or not you have dysbiosis.
Bacteria Present in Slim Individual
In addition to dysbiosis, there are gut bacteria that actually prevent gaining weight and are found in slim individuals: Akkermansia muciniphila and Christensenella minuta.
While Christensenella depends on your genes, the presence of Akkermansia can be boosted by eating prebiotic foods.
Here’s a list of foods that boost Akkermansia.
- Fish oil
- Rhubarb extract
- Bamboo shoots
- Concord grapes
- Black tea
Butyrate-Producing Gut Microbes
A healthy and diverse gut microbiome produces butyrate which breaks down dietary fiber into short-chain fatty acids that fight inflammation. Butyrate also produces hormones that tell the brain you are full. So less or no butyrate makes your brain think that you are still hungry even though you’ve had enough.
As you can see, diet and lifestyle matters. I prepared some tips for you in the next newsletter to further explore how you can boost your gut bacteria for weight loss. Stay tuned!
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth
(subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!