Q. Have you ever felt daunted by setting goals? Related to Health? Weight Loss?
MD Gregor has an answer: the 24hour diet! I affectionately call it the 1-Wipe Diet (details below)
He says even the most diet hard fans of processed foods can start to turn around their health by simply adding in whole foods. Let me explain that word real quick: eating things in their processed form e.g. peanut butter spread VS real peanuts is a totally different story. The former often will have all the fibre squashed out, stripped of nutrients, perhaps modified for a better colour, texture, and of course taste, and finally preserved with additives. The obvious choice is to eat whole foods.
With that in mind, Dr Gregor shares that we can turn our health around through consuming more whole foods as they in turn nourish our gut microbiome – the collection of bacteria living inside of our large intestine that on a cell to cell basis outnumbers us. Neil Tyson de Grass says that in one centimetre of intestine there is more bacteria than the whole of humanity combined! So why so many critters? They’re like the new girlfriend/boyfriend…good to us when we’re good to them, but mistreat them and they’ll turn on you! The bacteria feed on fibre (only found in vegetables) and produce helpful anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, nutrients called SCFAs (short chain fatty acids). Mistreat them with processed foods high in salt, sugar, fat, excess red meat and eggs…and they produce harmful heart-attack and stroke promoting things like TMAO and well as stinkier farts (hydrogen sulfide). Essentially by eating whole foods we nourish this lump of bacteria that weighs about the size of one of our kidneys to in turn reduce cancers, heal the gut, protect the heart and brain and much much more as science proceeds.
MD Gregor sums it up nicely with the rule of 3Ps.
Probiotics*: another name for good bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt (traditional ones not the commercial, sugar-laden, mutated ones), pickled veg etc…
Prebiotics: food for bacteria oftentimes fibre found in vegetables, garlic, onions
Polyphenols: naturally produced defensive chemicals in plants used for their own protection from predators, sun, pesticides..that we can commandeer when we eat plants
*Caveat: Interestingly I found that not all probiotics are to be considered generally safe. A study out of the Netherlands showed that those with pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) might want to avoid probiotics as it can lower their chances of survival. I think we can take everything with a grain of salt and be adults, eating vegetables is hands down healthy, but to supplement with commercially made probiotics without a health professionals oversight can be dicey.
For weight loss, a study out of Harvard done over many decades following 100,000s participants had shown that those with a diverse colony of bacteria through whole foods tend not to gain as much weight over time than counterparts ate fewer whole foods (fruits, vegetables). They reasoned it wasn’t so much the fibre but the polyphenols. Another good reason to switch up.
Finally, what is this 1-Wipe Diet, Vien?! I found that when having more fibre in my diet through things like oats for breakfast, ensuring some broccoli on my plate for dinner, that I would poop amazingly clean stools – you guessed it, that only required 1 wipe of the toilet paper! These stools weren’t soft (diarrhoea) nor hard (constipation)…they were…just right: like a fat submarine. Without having to complicate things with calorie counting, weighing foods…I simply looked behind me BEFORE wiping and got instant feedback on my health. 💩
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