Throughout Downsizing, I kept asking myself what the point of all of this was, never engaged by its hodgepodge of themes. I wish the filmmakers had asked that question too.
The following are five simple dietary changes you can implement into your everyday life to improve gut health and the diversity and overall health of your microbiome as supported by scientific literature.
1. Getting enough fibre.
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It grows naturally into the mold's shape.
Although foreign trade accounts for a greater share of the economy than ever, the United States is still more insulated than virtually every major competitor in Europe and Asia. Such everyday purchases as haircuts, dry cleaning, financial advice and eating out are virtually immune from foreign competition.
2. Get the balance right!
Our microbiome contains both fibre and protein digesting microbes. Ideally, we want to promote fibre digesting microbes which produce short-chain fatty acids, which play many health promoting roles including feeding gut cells to maintain gut barrier function. Mainstream fad diets which support low carbohydrate, high fat and or high protein-based diets can shift the proportion of the microbiome to be in favour of protein digesting species. In some cases, these species can release pro-inflammatory compounds. Aiming for a high fibre intake combined with moderate intakes of low-fat protein foods, such as recommended by the Australian Dietary Guidelines or the Mediterranean diet, is the best way to ensure a balance of fibre and protein digesting microbes.
With clear insights into your unique microbial community, you’re better placed to strike the right balance. Get your insights now
3. Limiting saturated fats.
Bilophila wadsworthia is a normal part of the gut microbiome, however it can become problematic at high levels. Elevated amounts of this bacterial species have been observed in individuals with intestinal inflammation, colon cancer and diets high in animal (saturated) fat3. Reducing intake of foods high in saturated fat may help decrease levels of this bacteria. The Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand recommend saturated fat should provide less than 10% of your total energy intake, which on average is less than 24g/day for the average Australian adult. Foods which are high in saturated fats include full fat dairy products, processed meats, certain oils like palm oil or coconut oil, and treat foods like pastries, biscuits and chocolates.
4. Limiting artificial sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners are commonly found in low sugar or ‘diet foods’, such as diet soft drink, low energy desserts and weight loss products. Originally developed as a sugar substitute to help manage diabetes and obesity, research in humans is now suggesting the effects of artificial sweeteners may be contributing to metabolic syndrome and the obesity epidemic. It appears that artificial sweeteners could alter the human gut microbiome, resulting in a negative impact on glucose metabolism in the body. This is associated with increased calorie intake and consequently results in increased weight gain4.
5. Including fermented foods into the diet.
Hannah Kuchler is San Francisco correspondent
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Discover what dietary changes might help your own gut microbiome maintain a healthy balance. 西部县城曝楼市隐患：人口24万小县库存670万平
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