Tag Archives: obesity

The Fascinating Bugs in Your Gut

Human health is a fascinating topic, and the philosophies on what preserves it are constantly in flux.

This Mother Jones article on the link between intestinal microbes and obesity concentrates on the bugs that live in our gut and how we can either help or hinder them when it comes to keeping ourselves healthy.

Something to recognize – health is far more complex than weight, and weight is more complex than calorie counts. As always, the best advice is to eat a variety of whole foods – fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and minimized processed junk and excess fats, salts and sugars.

If you don’t have time to read the piece, please just take this away:

The very qualities that improve palatability and lengthen shelf life—high sugar content, fats that resist turning rancid, and a lack of organic complexity—make refined foods toxic to your key microbes. Biologically simple, processed foods may cultivate a toxic microbial community, not unlike the algal blooms that result in oceanic “dead zones.”

Figure this is a good reason to try something new, whether it’s brown rice and a clementine or kombucha and kimchi. Good food can offer us so much, and what better time to experiment than when the holidays loom, the temperatures drop and the days darken?

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Sugar: Poison? Regulation? Hmmm…

teaspoon of sugar

I’ve been hearing a lot about sugar in the news and on talk shows lately. I think it might be because of this study.

The conversation has sort of centered around the whole concept of regulating sugar the way we do alcohol and tobacco, and considering it a toxic substance. I realize that sounds kind of crazy. But when someone says that sugar is poison, I suppose they’re right, to a degree. Alcohol, tobacco and sugar can all kill you… it just generally takes a while.

Here’s how I understand it. We like the taste of sugar because it’s sweet. In evolutionary terms, this is because sweet things found in nature are typically not poisonous, and are therefore safe to eat. And just like fat and salt, sugar can do some good things for our bodies.

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