When is a calorie not a calorie….??
So there’s a huge load of info out there on calories and the obesity epidemic. More recently the research has been looking at how obesity might actually be an infectious disease rather than a lifestyle based disease.
For years we have had the base idea that our weight is solely a product of calories in vs calories out. But we now have so much more understanding that this is not truly the case, and there are far greater mechanisms at play, pretty much all of which reside in our beautiful and super intelligent guts!
It’s all about the microbiota!!
So, we each have our own bacteria which live in different areas of our gut for very different reasons. We cannot survive without these amazing little beings. So worth reading “10% human”, it will give you the most wonderful insight into all things microbiota and guts. And we are only 10% human, everything else is bacteria living on us and in us!
The diversity of our microbiome is significant in all things immunity which we have known for years, but even more interestingly it plays a massive role in our metabolism.
So, when is a calorie not a calorie???
When we look into calories in food this is done on the assumption that fat gives us 9kcals per gram, and both protein and carbohydrates give us 4kcals per gram. But what researcher are finding increasingly is that how many calories we extract from that is very different and very individual, and may be completely determined by our bacteria.
The findings which started in mice, found that specific bacteria were more increasingly found in mice that were “obese”, and other bacteria found in more lean mice. The difference in the amount of calories taken in can be up to 2% which is HUGE over a month….year…lifetime…
So one person could take in 2% less calories per day than another, when both consuming the EXACT SAME AMOUNT of food. They soon realised that the calories written on packs of food were just a guide and that the differences were thought to be specifically determined by our guts and bacteria make up.
We all know that for the best microbiome we need DIVERSITY in our foods. Plant based, beautiful colours… All known to be what our body really wants to be consuming. Now we know this is true for metabolical health too!
Eat more donuts, your body then learns to extract more calories from donuts….
Yes it’s true!!!!!!
So the more of a certain food we eat, our body learns to adapt its bacteria accordingly, and therefore a donut/biscuit /chocolate every day… Your body alters the gut bacteria to be able to get every single iota of fat and calories out of that food, the Bacteria adapts accordingly. So people who regularly eat biscuits have been found to take on way more calories from eating those biscuits than someone who rarely eats biscuits.
So if you mostly don’t eat sweets, chocolate, cakes, then your body doesn’t have the bacteria to absorb all of the calories. Therefore a rare biscuit or donut, you probably will not take on all of the calories of this and they will end up in your stools.
So an occasional donut will barely touch the sides in terms of calorific consumption in someone who day to day eats well, but regular consumption, means you will reap the calories and likely store as fat in the process.
So we can change how we chemically and metabolically deal with food by feeding our body with the fab stuff, colours, raw, plant based where possible, and then your gut will love you for it. Improve the diversity of your microbiome and help improve your metabolic health alongside everything else!!
10% Human by Allana Collen