Have you been trying to lose weight, counting calories, exercising, but neither the scale or the pounds budge? One of the common problems of weight loss programs that don’t work or work for the short-term but don’t offer any lasting results is their failure to explore the link between gut health and weight loss. One of the keys to permanent weight loss is a healthy gut with plentiful amounts of and a wide variety of strains of beneficial probiotics. Simply adding more fermented foods to your daily diet can make the difference. Fermented foods add beneficial bacteria known as probiotics to our diet and our bodies.
In numerous studies the intestines of overweight and obese people were found to differ from those of lean people. In the journal Beneficial Microbes, researchers found that obese and overweight people tend to have a higher ratio of harmful microbes to beneficial ones. The specific harmful microbes may differ from study to study, but the general consensus is that bad bugs (or a lack of good bacteria caused by insufficient amounts of fermented foods) may be making us fat.
After all, most of our ancestors included fermented foods in their diet on a daily basis. Of course, overeating, poor eating choices and inadequate physical activities are also responsible. But, to adequately address weight issues it’s important to eliminate harmful pathogens that cause weight gain from our bodies. And, the best way to do that involves eating more fermented foods.
Studies, including the Beneficial Microbes one, now show that the ratio of healthy bacteria to harmful microbes in our gut can influence our weight in several ways, including by:
1) Providing us with the energy we need through the breakdown of starches and sugars in our diet. Beneficial bacteria assist with the digestion and absorption of these carbohydrates.
2) Affecting cellular energy levels of liver and muscle cells. If the liver and muscles do not receive the energy they need to perform optimally, then they don’t function adequately and cannot break down fat stores and build up muscles (which in turn, break down fat).
3) Affecting the accumulation of fat in our tissues.
You’re probably wondering if eating more fermented foods will really make much of a difference to your weight? Research shows that it does. A study published in the journal Internal and Emergency Medicine showed promising results in the prevention and treatment of obesity and related metabolic disorders simply by changing the balance of intestinal flora, in favor of the healthy probiotics found in many fermented foods.
In that study, scientists examined the effects of administering probiotics to obese individuals. They found that probiotics could stabilize blood sugar levels, which reduces cravings for sweets and fatty foods, but also reduce the body’s production of fat storage hormones. The combination of which results in a fat-melting alchemy that may help overweight and obese individuals lose weight even when other avenues aren’t working. The study concluded that probiotics show promise in the prevention and treatment of obesity and metabolic disorders.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight Extend Your Life.