Contributed by Natasha is Wide Eyed
23/11/2021 - Natasha is Wide Eyed
Which is better for you? White or brown bread? Everyone knows its brown bread. Right?
Well, it’s certainly a pervading health food trope. I never used to question the quality of the fibre that these foods provide. I never thought to wonder how the processing of the wheatgerm would have been affected by the factory methods employed to produce these foods and its subsequent impact on our gut.
But now I do, and I want you to know about it too because fibre in its two forms, insoluble and soluble, and its role in the gut, are key to a healthy body.
If you’re as old as I am, you will remember the popular diet book from 1982 called the F Plan Diet by Audrey Eyton. The diets’ primary goal was weight loss not gut health. It restricted calories to 1500 per day by eating high fibre foods that purportedly filled you up and made you less hungry. A lot of the foods were processed fibre rich foods.
Besides the problems caused through advising processing fibre food, there’s a problem with caloric restriction ( I prefer the more sustainable method of including intermittent fasting) as a method to lose weight, even if you have a belly full of fibre, is its impact on a hormone called leptin. Leptin declines within one day of restricting calories because the brain senses starvation due to the lack of fat. This makes you irritable and really hungry so not terribly good for long term success!
But what about the fibre element?
Fibre is absolutely essential to good health, specifically so that you feed the trillions of bacteria that live within your gut. Did you know that it’s these guys that keep you in tip top condition if you feed them what they need? All they require is soluble and insoluble fibre to keep your engine running smoothly.
The problem is that the fibre rich foods promoted by way of labels on packaging and diet fads, have had the essential elements of the original food stripped out during industrial processing. So, when it comes as a cereal or a loaf of pre-packaged brown bread the fibre is now devoid of the vitamins and minerals your gut requires to be keep you healthy. To make matters worse, many of these foods come with added sugar which increase another hormone called insulin through the roof. This in turn adversely impacts the whole body and drives weight gain.
Processed food provides an environment whereby your ‘good bacteria’ cannot survive, let alone thrive. It also allows the ’bad bacteria’ to multiply and this is really bad news as it leads to leaky gut and toxins getting into the blood stream. It also paves the way for autoimmune diseases.
So where do you get the best soluble and insoluble fibre from? Real food of course. Fresh seasonal vegetables are your best source.
One ingredient that supplies both types in one place is Psyllium husk. And luckily it’s also a brilliant ingredient which I use in many of my real food full fat recipes.
So now you know just how much your body relies on fibre, don’t fill your bowl with bran flakes thinking that it’s convenient. Because being ill is anything but convenient.
All you have to do is feed the party of bacteria in your gut to keep you partying long into the future. And the best news of all is that you can change your gut environment for the better within just two days of adopting a high fibre diet.
To make changes to your gut and to resolve weight and health issues check out my website natashaiswideeyed.com for FREE recipes, videos and articles. Treat yourself to a bigger slice of life.
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