If you suffer from diabesity (obesity + type 2 diabetes), you have probably tried to treat or reverse it by cutting calories. This, experts assure you, will help you lose weight, which can also prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes. But what experts have probably never told you is that your gut and digestive health matters when it comes to weight issues, type 2 diabetes — and diabesity.
Your body is composed of an estimated 100 trillion cells, but only about 10% of them are human. You read that correctly. About 90% of the cells that make up your body are bacteria, most of which live in your gut.
Bacteria residing in your gut and digestive tract exert a major influence on your health. An exact balance of good and bad bacteria is necessary for you to obtain and maintain optimum health. If “bad” bacteria, yeast, and/or parasites overwhelm “good” bacteria, a condition called gut dysbiosis, it causes systemic inflammation, eventually leading to many health problems, including:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Type 2 Diabetes
How Gut and Digestive Health Play a Role in Diabesity
Diabesity is, strictly speaking, a condition in which obesity and type 2 diabetes occur together. However, you need not have full-blown diabetes to be diagnosed with diabesity. Rather, being overweight with abnormal blood sugar levels is enough for you to be considered to have diabesity.
Obesity is the number one risk factor for type 2 diabetes. That’s because both of these diseases — and, yes, obesity is a disease — are symptoms of insulin resistance. The link between these two conditions has been known for decades, and it is particularly clear in the numbers of people diagnosed with these diseases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 70% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Shocking? Yes, but it becomes even more so when you consider the CDC estimates that about 90% of those who are obese will eventually develop type 2 diabetes. And…a CDC study suggests nearly 89% of us are overweight, obese, diabetic, pre-diabetic, diabese, or pre-diabese.
But that’s not all: An estimated 1.5 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed every year among U.S. adults. Clearly, the diabesity epidemic isn’t getting better. It is growing at an alarming rate. One of the best ways to stop it, though, is to improve your gut and digestive health.
As you’ll soon see, there are simple steps you can take to improve your gut and digestive health, rebalancing your good and bad bacteria permanently, for yourself and for your loved ones.
Gut, Digestive Health, and Diabesity
Bacteria residing in your gut and digestive tract exert a major influence on your setpoint and therefore on your vulnerability to diabesity.
Making up what scientists call the “gut microbiota,” these bacteria are responsible for a variety of tasks. For instance, they help extract calories from the foods you eat, and they store these calories for later use as body fat. Plus, some of those microbes have a profound impact on neurological inflammation and whether or not you develop Diabesity.
Much of what we know comes from studies of rodents, but that doesn’t mean the discoveries are meaningless. On the contrary, rodents have helped us make some of the biggest breakthroughs in medical history. They are doing the same for Diabesity research. The Diabesity Documentary series discusses some fascinating studies showing that gut and digestive health influences one’s weight.
Here are a few of the highlights:
Experiments on mice given gut bacteria from people with Diabesity showed that the mice became fatter than mice who were given microbes from people without Diabesity. Read that sentence again slowly. No, it’s not a misprint. Transplanting the gut microbes from people with Diabesity to those without Diabesity caused weight gain (diabesity) in those who did not previously have this disease.
So, it seems clear, we need to pay more attention to the microbes living inside us. To prevent or reverse diabesity, you need to discover how you can improve gut and digestive health to lower your setpoint.
Gut and Digestive Health: The Probiotic/Prebiotic Revolution
The research into the effects of gut microbes on your setpoint weight has been so compelling that it has birthed a related field of research around consuming gut health boosting pre- and probiotics to assist with Diabesity treatment and lasting weight loss.
Reporting in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers at Laval University in Quebec found that probiotic supplements could help people lose weight and keep it off. To make their case, researchers recruited 125 overweight people. These individuals followed a 12-week weight-loss diet, followed by a 12-week weight-loss maintenance period.
Throughout the study, half the participants took two pills daily which contained probiotics from the Lactobacillus family. Meanwhile, the other half of the participants received a placebo. The probiotic supplement also contained some prebiotics, which are dietary fibers that feed probiotics.
As a result of the 12-week diet period, the women in the probiotic group lost twice as much weight. After the 12-week maintenance period, the weight of the women in the placebo group remained stable. But the probiotic group continued to lose weight, for a total of more than 11 pounds per person!
Bottom line: women taking probiotics lost more than twice as much weight as women who didn’t. And then they kept on losing weight! (More research is needed to discover why probiotics had no effect on the men’s weight.)
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How Gut and Digestive Health Affects Setpoint
Gut bacteria are so influential in our health that many experts refer to it as our “second brain.” They call this second brain the “enteric nervous system (ENS).” The ENS is composed of 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract. Your “first brain” above your neck, and your “second brain” below your neck — your gut — work together to help regulate your setpoint.
You see, neurons lining our gastrointestinal tract are influenced by good bacteria. Protecting the lining of our intestines provides a barrier against bad bacteria. Good bacteria affects the amount of inflammation throughout the body, as well as mood and energy level.
But how does a healthy gut fix brain inflammation, improve absorption of nutrients, and activate the healing neural pathways between the gut and the brain?
Bacteria from the Firmicutes family produce a higher setpoint while bacteria from the Bacteroidetes family produce a lower setpoint. In other words, data suggest that people with Diabesity have a significantly higher level of Firmicutes and lower level of Bacteroidetes compared to people without Diabesity.
This gut dysbiosis is an undesirable shift in the microbiota composition — an imbalance between protective and potentially harmful microbes — that can damage your gut lining and raise your setpoint, leading to diabesity.
The key then is to eat so much SANE high-quality food that feeds Bacteroidetes that you are too full for inSANE low-quality foods that feed Firmicutes…and enjoy the lower setpoint and Diabesity defense that results. (More about that later.)
Food Cravings? Thank Your Gut Bacteria
It is critical to remember that bacteria interact with many systems in your body — influencing inflammation, appetite, how much energy you extract from food, and how much energy you store as fat. Individuals with an imbalance of Firmicutes often carry more weight, have a harder time losing weight, and are more likely to struggle with neurological inflammation and Diabesity.
Remarkably, too, these tiny organisms play a big role by influencing the foods you crave. That’s right, research suggests that individual members of the microbiota have preferences for different types of food. And they can be picky!
For example, a gut microbe called Prevotella thrives best on carbohydrates, Bifidobacterium likes dietary fiber, and Bacteroidetes prefer to feast on certain fats. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Proteome Research found that people who are “chocolate desiring” have different microbial metabolites in their urine than “chocolate indifferent” individuals.
So the next time you feel an irresistible craving for sweets, it is not due to a lack of self-control; rather, it is because sweets are what your not-yet-SANEitized gut bugs are craving. That’s right. Your cravings may not be YOUR cravings. They may be the cravings that you have the power to change.
And this is so empowering because you now know that you can enlist billions of microscopic setpoint-lowering bacterial minions into your campaign against Diabesity. And you do not recruit them by starving yourself nor by eating processed pre-packaged diet food. In fact, both of these tactics do the exact opposite of what you desire. They literally kill the Diabesity defeating bacteria you want on your side.
Causes of Poor Gut and Digestive Health
There are many reasons for an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria, including:
Use of antibiotics
But the main cause of poor gut and digestive health, often leading to diabesity, is a poor-quality diet. The microbes living in the gut are extremely sensitive to the quality of the food we eat. In fact, it is the type of foods that you eat that determines the type of bacteria that live in your gut. High-quality SANE foods lead to high-quality setpoint-lowering gut bacteria, while low-quality inSANE processed products lead to setpoint-elevating bacteria.
The SANE Way to Improve Gut and Digestive Health to Prevent or Treat Diabesity
The SANE way to improve gut and digestive health is easy and does not involve starvation or deprivation. Instead, you simply eat so much setpoint-lowering high-quality SANE food that you are too full for inSANE, setpoint-elevating processed products. This feeds the gut bacterial minions you need to succeed while helping to eliminate the bacterial buggers that drive your setpoint up. Easy peasy!!!
SANE foods not only feed your good gut bacteria while killing off the bad ones, but they are also delicious, have no effect on your blood sugar levels, trigger-fat burning hormones, and lower your setpoint. You will naturally lose weight, automatically treating and healing diabesity.
The SANE eating plan is also easy to remember, too. There are only 4 foods groups. Try to choose foods from the first 3 food groups at every meal, as these foods work together to lower your setpoint and improve gut and digestive health.
10+ servings per day
Non-starchy vegetables create bulk in your stomach, and because their fiber content cannot be digested, they stay in your system for a long time. Eating more non-starchy vegetables not only feeds the good bacteria, but it also keeps you so full you automatically stay away from inSANE foods that feed bad bacteria.
3-5 servings, 30-55 grams per meal
Nutrient-dense protein triggers short- and long-term satiety hormones, meaning it also fills you up fast and keeps you full for a long time. Eating 30 grams of protein at a time also triggers muscle protein synthesis, which speeds muscle repair. This prevents muscle loss and builds new lean muscle more quickly, boosting your metabolism.
Nonfat Greek Yogurt
3-6 servings per day
Whole-food fats also keep you full for a long time. The key is to eat them in their whole-food versions, not just their oils. When you eat these fats in their whole-food form, you are getting the fiber, water, and protein your body needs to lower your setpoint and treat diabesity.
0-3 servings per day
Feel free to enjoy up to 3 servings of low-fructose fruits per day. However, consuming fruit is not a necessary part of SANE. That’s because non-starchy vegetables do everything fruits can do — including lowering setpoint, improving gut and digestive health, and treating Diabesity — with a whole lot less sugar.
When you eat more SANE foods, thereby crowding out inSANE foods, you will effortlessly improve gut and digestive health. This, of course, helps prevent, treat, or even reverse diabesity. You may have tried everything else to lose weight and heal diabesity without success. Isn’t it time you tried some SANEity?
Next Step: Improve Your Diabesity Gut Digestive Health with the SANE
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