Get Your Glow Back – Episode 56 – With Laura Tilt
What are some of the biggest myths and misconceptions around healthy eating:
Detoxing – We don’t need to do anything to detox our body, our liver and kidneys constantly do this for us.
Lemon water will not detoxify the body, it will just erode your teeth, switch to something like mint leaves in your water if you want to change the taste
Superfoods – just a word to help sell foods, inticed by the promise of feeling better but in reality scientifically this term doesn’t mean anything
Food intolerance tests:
Allergies and intolerances are very different, an allergy involves the immune system and can be lifethreatening a food intolerance doesn’t involve the immune system and isn’t life threatening but causes discomfort. The challenge is that there are no clinically valid tests for intolerance tests. Most of these tests look at levels of an antibody called IGG when exposed to 100 – 200 foods and conclude the if levels are raised after eating a food there is an intolerance. Research shows that levels of IGG are raised after eating in general. There is no clinical basis for these foods to be avoided and often restricting foods can lead to other issues. If you believe you have intolerance a better way to find out is by trying an elimination diet for a few weeks and monitoring your symptoms, ideally with the support of a dietitian
The gut’s main role is for digestion and absorption but is also important for our immune system (about 70% of immune cells are in the gut), it’s also an important barrier for the external and internal world against harmful microbes, our microbes have lots of roles including communicating with our brain.
How can we understand our own gut health:
Your gut will tell you when it isn’t happy
SAS: stools and symptoms, bloating, heartburn, cramps, excessive wind.
It’s normal to have gut symptoms on an irregular basis expecially if you eat prebiotic rich meals (i.e. lots of chickpeas) or if you eat really late and experience heartburn or indigestion
If you have constant, ongoing symptoms something might be up.
It can be embarrassing to talk about gut symptoms so we may normalise what is going on for us
How often you are pooing: a third of population poo everyday, it varies person by person depending on your gut motility, normal is anything from 3 times a day – 3 times a week.
What it is like is important: Bristol Stool Chart 1-2 are a symptom of constipation 3 -4 are ‘ideal’ 5-7 are more watery and can be symptoms of ibs or perhaps lactose intolerance
Important to learn what is normal to you, it’s normal to have funky poos occasionally for example after drinking, after flying.
Microbiome testing: analysis of a small bit of poo, we still don’t know what the ideal microbiome looks like and it’s likely that there isn’t one ideal microbiome which makes it difficult to measure something. Your microbiome changes all the time so a sample can only give a small snapshot.
Faecal microbiome transplants: faeces from a ‘healthy’ donor is transplanted into someone who isn’t well in theory to improve health. At the moment this transplant is only approved to treat a gut infection called Clostridium difficile which can be a side effect of antibiotic reaction but isn’t approved for use in other conditions. It’s not risk free and the FDA has released a warning after 6 people contracted infection from FMT transplants. Promising research is continuing for other conditions so watch this space, but be aware of companies claiming they can treat other conditions with this approach as this is as yet unproven.
Eating and Gut Health
Mindful Eating: an approach to eating which looks at how and why rather than just what we eat
Not necessarily combining eating with other activities
Chewing is a really important part of the digestive process
If you eat too quickly you often eat past the point of fullness because your brain doesn’t have a chance to catch up with satiety signals
Research shows that if we don’t pay attention when eating we crave more food later
A varied diet is important because different foods have different nutrients
Diversity in different plant foods is especially helpful for the gut: american gut project research found the biggest influence on gut health was the number of plant species they ate a week
It’s just a nice goal but isn’t the be all and end of just introduce variety wherever you can
Fibre is the part of food we don’t digest
When we eat fibre it helps gut motility
It helps feed the microbes in our gut which create short chain fatty acids which help in lots of ways including in mood regulation
Average intake is around 18g but 2015 study found we should all increase our intake to 30g/day
Protective effect against bowel cancer, heart disease
Prebiotics: naturally found in lots of foods, artichokes, pulses, onions, garlic
Learn more on this podcast
If you’re eating your plant foods and fibre you will naturally be eating prebiotics
Live microbes which when administered in sufficient amounts will provide a health benefit to the person consuming them
In order for them to be probiotic they need to meet that criteria which is hard to prove.
Look out for whether the bacteria strain has been studied
Are fermented foods probiotic?
Fermented foods are foods which are produced using live microbes
Yogurt, sourdough, wine, chocolate, coffee are all fermented but not all fermented foods are probiotic
Cooking food deactivates the microbes, if you are buying shelf stable heat treated sauerkraut it is not probiotic. Some foods may contain live microbes but we don’t know if this is in sufficient amounts to be termed probiotic
Online resources to make your own – Get Gutsy Programme
What is it? Irritable bowel syndrome, a common digestive condition which affects how the gut moves and functions.
In IBS there is no disease in the gut but there is a change in function, usually in motility
Accompanied by symptoms such as excess wind, bloating, unusual bowel movements
The Happy Gut Guide is a 12 week programme for people who have an IBS diagnosis which takes you through you symptoms to manage your IBS symptoms
For 20% off the Happy Gut Guide use code: HGG20
If you think you have IBS see your GP as it may be indication of another condition