Thoughtfood 7: Rich Diets, Poor Diets, and the Trillions of Bacteria Pulsating Inside You.
What will mainstream dietary guidelines advocate in fifty years?
Well, considering the current recommendations are still decades behind, they will probably report the latest findings published in the scientific journal Molecular Metabolism concerning the impact of restrictive dieting on your gut bacteria, also known as your microbiome, and how that affects your health:
''During the past 50 years, the prevalence of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel diseases sharply increased. A shared discovery for each of these pathologies is a reduction of the GI microbiome biodiversity. ''
As it turns out, there is an entire universe of bacteria pulsating within us, literally trillions of them, of which we understand a whole none percent of, and scientists are only beginning to uncover their significance in our digestive processes.
The more we discover, the less we seem to know. For fifty years now, conventional wisdom regarding nutrition has been about ''Good food vs. Evil food '', and restrictive diets have been glorified by medical authorities and government agencies as the gold standard of health.
Calories, saturated fat, meat, carbs, and gluten have all been coined by different experts as enemies to be avoided at any cost to remain healthy.
Trillions of dollars of debt and a chronic disease epidemic later, we are no better than we were fifty years ago. Our experts, caught in a scientific ego clash, have left the rest of the population in utter confusion. Nobody knows which doctors to believe anymore.
Of course, he who holds the Science is never responsible – Like the word of God, the Holy Scientific Method is always right. Hence, given the lack of any improvement regarding preventive health care, the population is blamed for being lazy and having a perverse appetite.
Perhaps it would be wise to remember that Science is only a tool for discovery, and given that we still have so much to discover, that it is not a valid currency to establish authority, especially when it comes to nutrition.
In the study above, the researchers explain how the different micro biotic species convert the energy we ingest in the form of food, drugs, or dietary supplements into important messaging signals for the body to process and orchestrate various physiological functions like digestion.
They are the middle people between the food you eat and your body, the host. The researchers add how eating can shift your microbial balance in as little as three days. Hence, dietary choices that exclude food groups such as meat or vegetable can profoundly affect the richness of your flora:
''Dietary choices that exclude products from animals or plants will eliminate crucial microbiota by purging the vital nutrients, needed to supply the necessary energy for survival in their habitat. ''
By following a restrictive diet; whether it is carbs, meat, or vegetables, you are starving some essential messengers necessary to your well-being. The richer your diet is, the greater your repertoire of messaging signals, and the greater your ability to maintain homeostasis, the balance between health and disease.
The emerging science of the microbiome is likely to anger some nutrition evangelists, but as someone who has undergone and advocated restrictive diets, I am happy to have been educated otherwise. If you are interested in learning more about your unique microbial universe, check out www.ubiome.com and order one of their tests.
The study can be downloaded here: http://www.molmetab.com/article/S2212-8778(16)00038-7/pdf