We should eat more protein, paleo-style? We need to quit sugar? We need more ‘good’ fats or less ‘bad’ fats?
The answer to this question was explored on the last two week’s of ABC TV’s Catalyst program – Gut Reaction. (And although its a simplistic question, the research supporting the answer is worth paying attention to.)
The researchers explored how our diets are related to the state of our gastrointestinal health (in particular, microbes) and the impact this has on our overall health including our risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
The findings were actually completely unsexy and unsensational. Sad news for the diet and processed food industries.
The single biggest thing you can do with your diet to reduce your risk of these major chronic diseases is to eat more…. FIBRE!
Told you it wasn’t sexy. It’s just common sense. But it’s nice to have some of the biochemistry to back up how the bacteria in our gut rely on a fibre rich diet to improve our immune systems which brings a myriad of other health promoting effects.
The good news is that eating more fibre is simple and easy, unlike trying to follow most fad diets.
As you know, I bang on a bit about eating a diet mainly comprised of plant foods in their whole, unprocessed (within reason) form – eg. not out of a box or a plastic packet. These new finding support this age old idea.
Do you know there are six different types of fibre? We should aim to include all of these in our diet regularly, if not daily:
- Raw salad vegetables
- Whole grains
- Legumes and pulses
- Nuts and seeds
I recommend flicking over to Catalyst and watching Part 1 and Part 2 of Gut Reaction. They give some excellent examples of how hormones including insulin change drastically depending on the level of fibre in your diet.
Have you got a favourite way of increasing fibre in your diet or some excellent fibre-rich recipes? Share them in the comments.
To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture). Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.