Obesity rates are rising, and more and more people are experiencing health issues as a result. Studies have shown obese people have an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions. And many of these health problems are linked to our mortality. Is there a connection between our gut health and the rising obesity rates? Find out what the research reveals and how you can take action.
Obesity is definitely on the rise. In 2014, the World Health Organization reported 1.9 billion adults were overweight. And of these adults, a total of 600 million were obese. Since 1980, estimates indicate obesity rates have more than doubled. These rising obesity rates are taking their toll on people’s bodies and upon the health care system. Many other associated health problems are also increasing, so our goal should not just be lose weight, but to shed pounds in a healthy way that not only helps us to feel better, but also improves our health and longevity.
Many factors are involved when it comes to weight gain and obesity. Sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits play significant roles in the obesity epidemic. Genetics also play a role. But what about our gut health? Recent studies have shown that the an imbalance in our gut microbiota (GM) or the organisms that live in our gut, can be a contributing factor to obesity. The food we eat, as well as over use of ANTIBIOTICS , influences the diversity and composition of GM in our bodies. Additionally, our energy levels can also be influenced by our gut microbiota. Ongoing studies continue to reveal the nature of these connections, so as we lose weight, we want to improve our GM and not cause further imbalance.
Research has also shown that bacterial diversity in our gut can help reduce body fat. Additionally, individuals who are gluten sensitive, but who continue to eat grains can not only damage their gut health, but can also develop autoimmune conditions over time. In these cases, the body can attack its own organs such as the thyroid, which may further contribute to the inability to lose weight and the development of obesity.
Maintaining a balance of “good” bacteria in the gut helps us maintain a healthy weight. Taking too many antibiotics can kill off the “good” bacteria in our gut. It is estimated Americans take more than two-times the antibiotics necessary to be healthy. While antibiotics are necessary for certain conditions, they are useless for others. And people can boost their immune systems and maintain better gut health by taking probiotics. A daily supplement is one of the most effective ways to fit probiotics into your diet. Certain foods also contain them, such as sauerkraut and yogurt.
Studies show obese people have a different set of microbes than thin ones. People of a healthy weight have a more diverse population of microbes. And keeping in mind the role antibiotics play in altering gut microbes, meat that contains hormones and antibiotics that can also have a negative impact on gut health. Consumers need to purchase meat from animals that were not given hormones and antibiotics. Be aware of antibiotics in external products, such as Triclosan in cosmetics, deodorants, and toothpaste. What you put on your body can play a role as well as what you put in in it.
Food additives also have an impact on gut bacteria and maintaining the right balance in our bodies. For example, emulsifiers can cause inflammation. And when people have inflammation, it can lead to health issues such as diabetes. Avoiding foods with additives can help you maintain a healthier gut and shed unwanted pounds. Opt for whole and raw foods. Cook foods yourself using pure ingredients. Consider the benefits of buying UDSA organic foods instead of packaged or traditional ones. Remember, if your food comes in a package, it is probably processed and may contain excess sugar, many unhealthy additives and gut damaging chemicals.
Gut bacteria can also determine your hunger level. For example, the microbe Helicobacter pylori can reduce the stomach’s production of ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone. As a result, people might think they are hungrier than they are – which leads to weight gain. Choose fiber-rich foods, reduce your sugar and grain intake, and exercise for at least a half hour every day to start shedding extra pounds.
Getting to know your gut can help you lose weight, boost energy, reduce inflammation, and enjoy a flatter tummy. Not only will you feel better, but you will be taking steps to improve your health as well.
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