Can you achieve weight loss while enjoying chocolate, cheese and red wine?
Weight loss is a major concern for a large part of the population as research shows that 48% of us have tried to lose weight in the past year. In spite of this the problem of obesity is gaining momentum at an alarming rate. Now, a scientist at King’s College London has said that the lack of success in losing weight is due to us ignoring one key factor – the microbes in our gut.
Professor Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and author of The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat, says there are around 4lbs of microbes in our gut. Some of these aid the digestion of our food, others are involved in appetite and fat storage. Professor Spector says that by eating the right foods, we can cultivate more good bacteria and so stay slim and healthy. He goes on to say that fad diets which advocate elimination of one or more food groups do not work in the long term for weight loss.
“The more diverse foods we eat, the more varieties of microbes in our bodies, which makes us healthier.”
Recommending dairy products, he said, ” Regular cheese eaters actually have less heart disease than those who don’t eat cheese, contrary to what your GP says.
“Unpasteurised cheese is one of the best things you can eat, because it is one of the richest sources of living healthy microbes and fungi.
“Probiotic foods such as yoghurt are rich in microbes and should be enjoyed regularly, as they increase our microbe levels.”
Professor Spector also advocates oils, nuts and seeds as they provide fodder for friendly bacteria to grow and thrive. He also says that chocolate, wine and coffee can be enjoyed as they contain polyphenols. These are anti-oxidants which feed the microbes in the gut and allow them to reproduce. Wine and chocolate contain a type of polyphenol called flavonoids which are said to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and important microbial effects.
Professor Spector and his colleagues carried out a study of 2,000 twins in the UK. They found that twins with the highest levels of blood-flavonoids from wine and cocoa in chocolate had “lower weights, better arteries, lower blood pressure, stronger bones and a lower risk of diabetes.”
The best way to increase the diversity in the gut to assist weight loss, is to eat a varied diet including a wide range of foods. Avoid processed foods as they are limited in microbe levels and can lead to weight gain. Enjoy some cheese, dark chocolate and red wine as part of this varied diet.
If you would like to find out more about Professor Spector’s work please click on the link below: