Is your diet killing your gut health? Research is showing how billions of bacteria in our guts affects everything from weight-loss, diarrhea, sickness, the common cold and disease to anxiety, depression, anger, and hostility. Research also shows that what we do and do not eat determines what bacteria lives in our guts and what we eat feeds either good or bad bacteria. “A landmark new article in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that choline in eggs, poultry, dairy, and fish produces the same toxic TMAO as carnitine in red meat eggs. TMAO is “trimethylamine oxide—in your bloodstream is associated with a significantly higher risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or dying over a three-year period’. After I came off a 18 week period of eating a high protein and very low carb diet, my gut was extremely messed up for quite some time. Because I did not know much about gut health, it took some time to figure out what the heck was going on with my body and why my body was reacting so violently to adding more foods to my “healthy” diet. From all appearances, it might have looked like I was healthy but I was more anxious, hungry, bloated and inflamed than I had ever been. Given such an extreme reaction to no longer eating spinach, rice and skinless chicken breast, I had no choice but to figure out why this was happening and I began to do lots and lots of research. It wasn’t long before I discovered that my high protein-low carb diet was part of the problem and that it had completely destroyed my gut health. Research is discovering that “healthy” gut flora is not determined by meat, dairy, poultry or eggs ( foods that had been my primary sources of food). Instead, it requires a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds and whole grains. Following a low carb/ high protein diet for 15 year, I knew that there was no way I was eating the RDA fiber, resistant starches and nutrients necessary for good gut health. It has come to light just in the last few years that diets that avoid fruit, fiber, vegetables and beans are depriving us of the gut healthy we desperately need to nourish mental, emotional and physical health. Research shows: “Use it or lose it. If you feed people resistant starch, a type of fiber found in beans, within days, the bacteria that eat resistant starch shoot up, and then die back off when you stop it. Eating just a half can of chickpeas every day may modulate the intestinal microbial composition to promote intestinal health, by increasing potentially good bacteria, and decreasing pathogenic and putrefactive bacteria.”-Dr Greger Even diets that focus on juicing removes the fiber our intestine needs to be healthy. “We know fiber acts as a prebiotic in our colon, the large intestine, feeding our good bacteria”. ” Research shows that diets that focus on restricting natural whole foods kills gut bacteria and sets us up for future problems and weight gain. “When we don’t eat enough whole plant foods, we are, in effect, starving our microbial selves. On traditional plant-based diets, like Dr. Burkitt described—lots of fiber, lots of short-chain fatty acids, and lots of protection from Western diseases like colon cancer. Whereas on a standard American diet, where we’re eating highly processed food, there’s nothing left over for our gut flora. Not only may this mean loss of beneficial microbial metabolites, but also a loss in beneficial microbes themselves.”. It’s time to bring some common sense back to eating. Research shows that our ancestors weren’t eating a diet rich in bacon, eggs, beef and chicken, and they certainly weren’t eating French fries, donuts, chick Fil-a, sodas and chips. Truthfully, there is no place for overly processed foods in our bodies because we are not designed to eat a diet full of processed foods that have absolutely no real nutrients. “Our body doesn’t know about processed food;…So, on fiber-deficient Western diets, eating Spam on Wonder Bread, when our body detects low butyrate levels in the gut, it doesn’t think low fiber—as far as our body’s concerned, there’s no such thing as low fiber—it thinks: bad bacteria…low butyrate has meant bad bacteria; so, that’s the signal for our body to go on the inflammatory offensive”. _ Dr Greger The question is “Is your gut healthy?” Are you giving yourself the foods that you need to nourish your gut health. You have an internal garden that will not be fixed with a pill and can be destroyed by what you are and what you are not feeding yourself. If we continue to use food to lose weight, then we will continue to be misinformed about everything from fruit, beans, potatoes and whole grains, and how we are designed to saturated, satiated and satisfied with natural whole foods. Are our health problems diet-related? Research is showing that “Death in America is largely a foodborne illness. Focusing on studies published just over the last year in peer-reviewed scientific medical journals, Dr. Greger offers practical advice on how best to feed ourselves and our families to prevent, treat, and even reverse many of the top 15 killers in the United States”. It’s time to return to the basics and to rediscover how we are easily and naturally designed to look and feel our best. It’s time to rediscover how real change happens from the inside out. “If people just did four simple things—not smoking, exercising a half-hour a day, eating a diet that emphasizes whole plant foods, and not becoming obese—that may prevent most cases of diabetes and heart attacks, half of strokes, and a third of cancers. Even modest changes may be “more effective in reducing cardiovascular disease, [high blood pressure], heart failure, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and all-cause mortality than almost any other medical intervention.” We are not designed to use food to lose weight. When we approach food to use it as a means to an end, we will fragment it and ourselves in so many different ways that not only will it hurt our whole-person health, but it will hurt our families, communities, cities, country and world. We cannot piece together some crazy formula that offers us the greatest delusion of control. Neither a cave man or Jesus Christ approached food to regulate their weight, control their emotions, sanctify their spirits or find comfort, security or health. They were not in a relationship with food. They didn’t eat ice cream, protein shakes or use weight loss supplements. They simply ate the natural and whole foods available to them and they lived their lives. In order for us to return to the practices that nourish our health, we must remember that the health of creation and it’s creatures starts with us, and we must remember how we are designed to eat and live. Health is not a program but an ongoing process that happens when we practice the basics. The more we practice, the stronger and healthier our bodies, spirits, hearts and minds become. We are seeing the results of what happens when we practice unhealthy habits as a community and how everything is connected to either promote or discourage good health. Health is not just a gut issue or a body issue, it is a whole-person issue. Yes, our bodies have a design that works when we give them the real foods they need to rid themselves of toxins, excess weight and fight, heal and prevent sickness and disease. But how we approach food is determined by how we feel and how we feel is determined by us being full of truth and love. It’s time for a different conversation that begins with you and not weight-loss or food. Join us to discover a different way and how you are easily and naturally designed to VIVE.