Diverticulitis is a colon infection that happens when small sacs known as diverticula rupture. Learn symptoms of diverticulitis and how to prevent this large intestine infection.
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and food. Sometimes, a little too much of all them…especially the food! While getting your grub on comes with the territory during the holiday season, it makes meeting your 2021 wellness goals a bit more challenging. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite holiday traditions. You might just have to amend them a little. Here are ten healthy holiday food swaps that are gut-friendly and delicious!
Going hard on food this holiday season? You and us all. You have to take these little losses with little victories. Finding the balance between comfort food and that makes your digestive system comfortable is key. Here are 10 ways to transform your holidays into a healthy one this season.
Mashed Potatoes Cauliflower Mash
Besides the turkey itself, perhaps no other food is more synonymous with Thanksgiving than mashed potatoes. This side dish is the ultimate comfort food that turns super uncomfortable after its third serving.
White potatoes are exceptionally high in simple starches. They are laden with empty calories that our body burns off quickly. In turn, we’re hungry again. That’s why you have no problems going back for seconds and thirds.
Cauliflower is a resistant starch. Your body burns it slower, which helps you feel fuller longer.
Plus, one cup of this gut-friendly food provides you with 10% of your daily recommended intake of dietary fiber. Not only does dietary fiber help us flush out toxins, but it also provides food for your probiotic bacteria!
Now, if cauliflower mash isn’t your jam, we can still improve the nutrients of your old fashioned mashed potatoes. For one, leave the skin on.
Potato skin has more fiber and is an excellent source of potassium. You can also try substituting red or purple potatoes instead of using white to up your antioxidant intake!
Turkey Gravy Mushroom “Gravy”
Mashed potatoes and gravy go together like peanut butter and jelly. As much as we love a good PB&J, there are certainly healthier options out there. The same goes for our dear friend gravy.
Gravy is a guilty pleasure that many of us love to partake in during the holidays. It’s fine in moderation, but there are still tons of unhealthy fats in this savory condiment.
Try making a vegan gravy to either replace or supplement your turkey gravy. Mushrooms are an excellent plant-based gravy swap because they provide the texture and color we’re used to with this Thanksgiving staple.
Saute 16 ounces of mushrooms with 1/4 of a cup of grass-fed butter for about 20 minutes. Add in 1/4 of a cup of unbleached flour, stirring for five minutes. Last, add a cup of stock. Add herbs and spices to taste and simmer for a half-hour.
To up the antiviral benefits, we suggest using shiitake mushrooms. They are rich in beta-glucans that prop up the immune system and fight off pathogenic growth.
Green Beans Green Beans Almondine
Green beans are an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, and silicon. These are all essential for a healthy system. Unfortunately, all of these benefits get hidden in green bean casseroles because they get smothered with heavy cream and fried onions.
A green bean dish is essential for almost any holiday table. Get the same crispy-yet-juicy texture you love from baked green beans from the stovetop with green bean almondine.
This dish sautees green beans with almonds. Almonds are teeming with proteins that are essential for repairing cells around our gut lining. These nuts are also an excellent source of healthy fats that naturally lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.
Apple Pie Baked Apples and Applesauce
Nothing screams fall tradition like freshly picked apples. Excessive amounts of apples mean one thing — apple pie. Apple pie is excellent to share with the whole family on Thanksgiving. However, 2020 might see a smaller set up around the table. This year might be the one to cut down on the sweets. However, that doesn’t mean you have to have an appleless holiday. Instead of baking apples in a pie, have these fruits fly solo!
Core the apples and fill them with grass-fed butter, maple syrup, or honey. Add some pecans or cinnamon sticks inside, and roast these treats up to an hour.
Still sitting on some excess apples? Peel them up and make some applesauce. Simply melt some apples with a touch of water or apple cider vinegar on the stovetop. Stir often to avoid burning!
Before you toss out those apple peels, consider saving them. Apple pies are rich in fiber that feed healthy bacteria. Toss the peels in baked goods or pancakes. You can even dehydrate apple peels for a crispy snack or compost to make excellent soil for springtime!
Mac and cheese is a must for many Thanksgiving tables. This creamy treat is full of fat, gluten, processed ingredients, and a lot of guilt.
First, switch out your noodle source. White pasta is stripped of its nutrition. Instead, you’re left with a starch teeming with gluten. Gluten prompts our bodies to produce a protein known as zonulin. Zonulin regulates the movements our small intestine makes, which can cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or leaky gut.
Instead, make pasta out of zucchini, carrot, or spaghetti squash. Not only are these healthier choices, but they have a ton more flavor than boxed pasta.
Also, reconsider the cheese. Try to use cheese made with dairy that is free of hormones and antibiotics. You can also try making your own cheese sauce with plant milk.
Combine two cups of almond milk, two cups of unbleached all-purpose flour, and 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pot. Whisk vigorously for a couple of minutes on medium-high heat for a creamy topping for your healthy pasta.
Candied Yams Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Right out the gate (or oven), the word “candied” should set off a red flag. Candied yams aren’t even a side dish. They’re a dessert dressed up as a part of the main course.
You can still get the sweetness you love out of candied yams with regular sweet potatoes. They even have the word “sweet” in the name.
Sweet potatoes are a gut-healing powerhouse. They are chock full of antioxidants that help fight off inflammation. Plus, they are a significant source of resistant starch that helps feed probiotic bacteria and makes us feel satiated longer.
Eggnog Cinnamon Tea and Golden Milk Latte
Eggnog is an excellent way for kids and adults alike to partake in holiday traditions. As we keep saying, everything is fine in moderation. However, eggnog is rich in unhealthy fats that can linger into the next calendar year.
Literally cut the fat with cinnamon tea. Cinnamon contains an aromatic chemical (terpene) known as cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde influences thermogenic processes. That means cinnamon heats things up. This reaction makes cinnamon an excellent fat-burner…and organic lip plumper!
If tea isn’t your thing, consider a golden milk latte. This beverage has a thicker consistency that is similar to eggnog. However, it comes with far more benefits.
A golden milk latte is made with turmeric powder. Turmeric contains unique compounds known as curcuminoids. Curcuminoids help fight inflammation while improving blood circulation.
Hot Chocolate Homemade Hot Cocoa
Nothing beats sitting around a warm fire with a cup of hot cocoa. Unfortunately, store-bought mixes are teeming with refined sugars that will have the kids waiting up for reindeer all night long! Instead of using packaged hot chocolate, make it from scratch.
Melt unsweetened chocolate on the stovetop. Once melted, add in the goodies. Use natural sweeteners, such as maple syrup, vanilla extract, or food-grade peppermint essential oils, to help give this holiday treat a little more flavor!
The holidays come with a lot of parties. That means a lot of cocktails, especially if you’re not keen on your in-laws! Unfortunately, the holiday hangover can continue long after you put down the bottle. Too much alcohol can destroy healthy stomach bacteria, leaving the body prone to pathogens.
A light alcoholic beverage that will boost your gut health is kombucha. This beverage ferments yeast in a tea. Yeast feasts on carbohydrates in the tea, enriching the brew with probiotic bacteria and digestive enzymes.
The fermentation process naturally produces alcohol. So, kombucha might not be suitable for all ages.
Holiday Cookies Coconut Macaroons
The holidays bring a surplus of cookies that pack on unwanted pounds. You can still have a sweet tooth and snack responsibly this holiday season. Swap out your go-tos for savory coconut macaroons.
These creamy treats have far fewer calories than most baked goods. Plus, they contain a suitable amount of fiber to help detoxify the body post-holidays.
Coconuts are rich in healthy fats. We keep putting down fats, but our body does need them. It uses healthy fats to help repair our gut lining and improve nutrient absorption.
Pre-workout nutrition is essential for losing weight and gaining muscle. Are you eating the right foods for your body type and training style?
The microbiome opens the pathway to understanding how the body works more and more every day. With a Thryve Gut Test, we have the ability to analyze your DNA and look deep into many physiological functions carried out by your system on a molecular level. This is even more important when it comes to fat metabolism. Thanks to these advancements in technology and following KEGG pathway maps, we can determine how efficiently your body metabolizes fats (lipids) to produce energy, control weight, and promote cognitive function. Let’s take a look at the biomarkers for fat metabolism and how Thryve Inside can help you feel your best!
What is Fat Metabolism?
Fat metabolism (or lipid metabolism) is more than just burning off excess pounds around the gut.
There is far much more to fats than pounds on a scale. In fact, they’re not as evil as the mainstream makes them out to be.
Healthy fats are essential for human functioning, including building muscle, maintaining brain health, and absorbing nutrients.
The process of creating fats, breaking them down for energy, getting rid of waste, and recycling nutrients are all part of fat metabolism. These metabolic processes cover consuming fats in your diet or creating them yourself.
Fatty Acid Biosynthesis
Fatty acids are generated within our liver. That’s where our liver processes carbohydrates and introduces them to a litany of enzymes. Depending on these interactions, we get 12 nonessential amino acids. The other eight aren’t products of fat metabolism . Instead, they must be consumed through diet.
Fatty acid biosynthesis is reliant on carbohydrate metabolism. When our digestive system breaks down foods to simpler sugars, it can produce a wide array of beneficial enzymes and cofactors. A couple of these chemicals are acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) and Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH).
When acetyl-CoA and NADPH interact with a group of enzymes known as Fatty acid synthase (FAS), it kicks off the fatty acid biosynthesis process inside the cytoplasm and endoplasmic reticulum of cells.
Acetyl-CoA and Fatty Acid Production
First, the body takes two acetyl-COA. One of these coenzymes gets introduced to a carboxylic acid and the enzyme acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). ACC is the primary enzyme that’s necessary for all fatty acid creation .
The spare acetyl-CoA and newly formed malonyl-CoA lose their CoA. A carrier protein by the name of acyl-carrier protein (ACP) fills the void. When ACP enters the fold, the new molecules become acetyl-ACP and malonyl-ACP, respectively.
NADPH and Fatty Acid Production
One of the primary responsibilities of fat metabolism is to produce energy to store for later. This backup reserve is known as ketones. They get stored in the liver and are secreted when we are missing out on carbohydrates to break down for simple sugars to create energy. When this happens, it’s known as ketosis.
In this portion of fat metabolism, ketones get hydrolyzed by the enzyme NADPH. NADPH is a reducing agent in fatty acid production . It helps strip molecules that allow other enzymes and cofactors to make a difference.
With NADPH in the picture, water gets removed from the newly hydrolyzed new molecule and hydrogenated to make a saturated fat intermediate. As malonyl-ACP enters the equation, an intermediate fat with 16 carbons is created. This newly chained fat will serve as a prototype for many fatty acids.
Fatty Acid Elongation
Fatty acids that extend beyond 16 carbons typically transpire within the endoplasmic reticulum. The endoplasmic reticulum is an integral organelle within eukaryotic cells. These are cells with a true nucleus. Therefore, eukaryotic cells support the life of humans, fungi, and plants.
On the other side, archaea and bacteria have prokaryotic cells. These cells don’t have a nucleus. However, prokaryotes and eukaryotes both are responsible for similar functions, including protein and fat synthesis, all while serving as hosts for DNA.
For 16-carbon molecules to become elongated, they must interact with enzymes within the endoplasmic reticulum. These enzymes are called elongases.
While most fatty acid elongation happens inside the endoplasmic reticulum, it also transpires in mitochondria . Mitochondria serves as the digestive system of a cell. This realization is fascinating because our probiotic bacteria also make short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate. This healthy fat is essential for the health of our digestive system.
The most significant difference between fatty acid synthesis in the cytoplasm and mitochondria (or endoplasmic reticulum) is that the latter uses CoA to attach to the manonyl. As we mentioned earlier, the cytoplasm pathway uses ACP.
Fatty Acid Degradation
This portion of fat metabolism is when our body breaks fatty acids into their simpler metabolites. When it’s all said and done, fatty acid degradation will result in acetyl-CoA. This coenzyme will be then be used in the Citric Cycle of carbohydrate metabolism.
To begin this portion of fat metabolism, the metabolites get stored in our fat tissue (adipose cells). Inevitably, we burn off these fats by exercise and intermittent fasting. This process is known as lipolysis.
During lipolysis, free form fatty acids are released into the bloodstream and used to power our cells. During their travels, the free form fatty acids will interact with fatty acyl-CoA synthetase. After this enzyme causes a chemical reaction, it will then become introduced to adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is like currency for our cells, giving them the power and incentive to carry out their functions.
During this meeting, the α-phosphate compound loses an electron. This transfer of electrons causes two new phosphate molecules — pyrophosphate and acyl-chained Adenosine monophosphate (AMP). The acyl chain then creates an activated bond with CoA. Now, the fatty acid is ready to be oxidized by the cell.
Once this happens, the fatty acids become 2-carbon acetyl-CoA molecules. These simpler compounds enter the Citric Acid Cycle. This entry generates lower levels of Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and
Flavin adenine dinucleotide (FADH2). These are coenzymes that can be used in many metabolic processes and are pivotal for the production of more ATP.
Synthesis and Degradation of Ketone Bodies
As we noted, exercise and intermittent fasting can cause lipolysis. The body fat that gets burned off is called triglycerides. Usually, these compounds are used as cholesterol indicators. They are our backup reserve for when we don’t consume carbohydrates in our diet to promote gluconeogenesis.
During this part of fat metabolism, the triglycerides get introduced to water in our system. This interaction causes the triglycerides to become hydrolyzed, breaking them off into free form fatty acids.
Fatty acids get activated within the cytosol and shipped off the mitochondria. Here, beta-oxidation occurs. The end result is Acetyl-CoA. This much simpler coenzyme then makes its way to the liver, where it promotes the production of ketone bodies. All-natural energy powered by ketones is the primary objective of ketosis.
Once the ketones are used, they are recycled back into Acetoacetyl-CoA. This coenzyme is now free to enter the Citric Cycle.
Analyze Your Fat Metabolism
Not sure you’re burning fat adequately, or not producing enough energy to power you through the day? There might be something off with your fate metabolism. The best way to find out if this is happening is to get your gut tested. Using KEGG pathways, we can map out where the deficiencies are. That way, we can get your gut health on the right track. From there, you will shed excess weight and produce energy that will have you looking good and feeling good!
Click Here To View Resources
 Hou, Y., Yin, Y., & Wu, G. (2015). Dietary essentiality of “nutritionally non-essential amino acids” for animals and humans. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.), 240(8), 997–1007. https://doi.org/10.1177/1535370215587913.
 Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Stryer L. Biochemistry. 5th edition. New York: W H Freeman; 2002. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21154/.
 Parvy, J. P., Napal, L., Rubin, T., Poidevin, M., Perrin, L., Wicker-Thomas, C., & Montagne, J. (2012). Drosophila melanogaster Acetyl-CoA-carboxylase sustains a fatty acid-dependent remote signal to waterproof the respiratory system. PLoS genetics, 8(8), e1002925. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1002925.
 Kastaniotis, Alexander J, et al. “Mitochondrial Fatty Acid Synthesis, Fatty Acids and Mitochondrial Physiology.” Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27553474.
Thryve Inside recently conducted several internal studies about which type of diet would be most conducive to optimal gut health. Switching to a ketogenic diet saw the second-highest overall increase in stomach bacteria, falling just behind a juice cleanse diet. While many of the stomach bacteria that grew were beneficial for overall health, our results didn’t point to a keto diet plan correlating with weight loss. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of a high-fat, low-carb diet and the results of our keto diet study.
Ketogenic Diet Study Methodology
Our Thryve Inside keto diet study was conducted in three phases over an eight-day period. Phase A saw four volunteers consume their typical Western diet with normal food intake portions. They followed this protocol for two days.
In Phase B, the participants switched to a new diet in the form of the ketogenic diet. They followed this protocol for three days, before finishing the study with three days of their regular diet.
Every day of this keto diet study, we sampled the gut biome of our participants and recorded their averages. Let’s take a closer look at how the ketogenic diet works so you can understand how adopting a new diet that follows these rules might improve your gut health.
Keto Diet Explained
In principles, the keto diet (or South Beach Diet) is a lot like the Atkins Diet that blew up a few decades ago. It involves an extremely low-carbohydrate food intake. Instead, you fill the void with a lot of fat.
This change-up also switches gears in terms of our metabolic processes. After all, our main source of energy comes from glucose derived from carbohydrates. Unfortunately, over 15% of us are physically inactive . So, chances are the average person won’t burn the majority of their carbs off. That’s why keto diet enthusiasts insist a high-carb diet leads to weight gain.
A lack of carb intake in a ketogenic diet alters how we produce energy. In a low-carb diet, our body will turn to its backup reserve. The liver will make up for a lack of energy by secreting ketone bodies. Ketones will become our new main source of energy.
One analysis of ketone bodies as the main source of energy in lieu of less glucose noted,
“Classic studies of ketosis induced by fasting or starvation in humans showed that brain function was maintained which was attributed to the utilization (oxidation) of ketone bodies as alternate energy substrates to glucose by the brain .”– Adv Exp Med Biol.
Our liver makes ketone bodies from fatty acids stored from a high-fat diet. So, by eating fewer carbs and upping the grams of fat in your food intake, you will naturally lower carb (glucose) intake and increase the production of ketone bodies.
By rights, following this protocol should help with instances of high blood pressure and preventing type 2 diabetes. However, there are some complications with this theory that make it challenging for everybody to follow a keto diet. We’ll discuss that a bit further later.
A State of Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting
As another aside, many people also achieve a state of ketosis through intermittent fasting. That’s why advocates of the keto diet incorporate intermittent fasting into their lifestyle.
Learn more about intermittent fasting
Restricting calories is just like following a low-carb diet…because you’re eating no carbs at all. Can’t get much lower than that! You’re also giving your body a break from having to digest solid food particles.
The empty system looks for a new main source of energy. It will enter a state of ketosis, and the liver will secrete ketone bodies to power the body.
When people break a fast, they tend to fill up on high-fat foods, as they are rich in fatty acids that act as the building blocks of life. These amino acids will have a clear playing field to help improve your overall health.
What Can You Eat on the Keto Diet?
Following a ketogenic diet isn’t as restrictive as intermittent fasting. It’s actually not very restrictive at all. “Restrictive” is a state of mind. There are plenty of options available in a keto diet plan that are absolutely delicious.
You can eat the following foods while following a keto diet:
• Low-Carb Vegetables (Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts)
• Seafood with 0g Net Carbs (Wild-Caught Salmon, Raw Tuna, Halibut)
• Seafood with Low Net Carbs (Clams, Oysters, Mussels)
• Grass-Fed Meat
• Free-Range Poultry
• Grass-Fed Butter
• Cage-Free Eggs
• Greek Yogurt
• Dark Chocolate and Cacao
• Healthy Fruit Oils (Avocado, MCT, Coconut, Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
• Butter and Heavy Cream
As you can see, there are many options to choose from. However, as our results will show, the choices you make within these limitations will determine whether or not weight loss occurs.
Ketogenic Diet Study Results
Our results to the internal ketogenic diet study found that following this new meal plan can significantly alter your gut bacteria. The dramatic change in diversity that happens after just three days of a keto diet will see your body teeming with stomach bacteria that are essential for weight loss. Let’s take a look at some of the results that we found during our ketogenic diet study.
Increases Stomach Bacteria Diversity
We found two interesting ways the keto diet influenced our vounteers’ gut bacteria. Changing from a regular diet to a ketogenic diet saw the second-highest increase in overall diversity. Our test subjects saw a 78% increase in intestinal flora diversity during Phase B. They subsequently saw just as much of a drop during the Phase C portion.
A keto diet seemed to have a huge impact in diversifying our volunteers’ guts
Increasing stomach bacteria diversity is essential for improving your overall health. It’s like your gut biome is a football team. Every player has a role that supports other players. Yet, they also have their own unique traits that make them an irreplaceable member of the roster.
Each stomach bacteria may have characteristics that overlap with one another, but they also have unique specialties that make them essential members of our gut biome roster.
A meta-analysis about the importance of stomach bacteria diversity stated,
“Lower diversity is considered a marker of dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) in the gut and has been found in autoimmune diseases and obesity and cardiometabolic conditions .”– British Medicine Journal (BMJ)
By following a low-carb and high-fat diet, your body will promote the growth of different stomach bacteria. Therefore, a ketogenic diet might help alter your gut biome for the better.
May Improve Brain Health
By following a low-carb and high-fat diet, your body will promote the growth of different stomach bacteria. Therefore, a ketogenic diet might help alter your gut biome for the better.
A ketogenic diet and McDonald’s diet seem to be reversely related
Interestingly enough, the ketogenic diet had a complete opposite effect. Levels of Parasutterella increased during Phase B. In fact, by looking at the data, it looks like the same line graph upside-down.
Until recently, not much was known about Parasutterella, other than the fact that too much of it can have a negative impact on weight . However, when the microbiome is balanced and diverse, like it appears to be under a ketogenic diet, Parasutterella seems to have benefits.
A new study uncovered that Parasutterella might regulate inflammation in the hypothalamus . This part of the brain responsible for our hormone production. Fighting off inflammation in this area might be beneficial for fertility, mood, and maintaining sleep cycles.
Might Help Fight Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)
Eating fewer carbs and consuming a high-fat diet seems to have some benefits for the digestive system. For one, it produced higher levels of Bacteroides. This genus of stomach bacteria are some of the most common in our gut. So, our body relies on them to function optimally. Otherwise, the system becomes prone to stress, and ultimately, inflammation.
A meta-analysis of Bacteroides and Irritable Bowel Disease concluded,
“We identified 63 articles, 9 of which contained sufficient data for evaluation. The mean level of Bacteroides was significantly lower in Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) patients in active phase than in normal controls .”– Hindawi Biomed Research International
One of the reasons we believe following a classic ketogenic diet has these benefits is because it’s a high-fat diet. Healthy fats contain plenty of collagen and elastin. These proteins help give structure to the cells that line your gut. That way, you are less likely to cause inflammation in the GI tract. That’s why consuming bone broth is a very popular choice for those following this type of diet.
May Combat Autoimmune Disease
We tested the gut bacteria of two volunteers to get a snapshot of levels of Prevotella while following a keto diet plan. The two test subjects saw levels of this stomach bacteria drop around 35% during Phase B.
Prevotella is an essential stomach bacteria for a healthy gut biome. However, too much of this bacteria can lead to long term inflammation.
One meta-analysis on this intestinal flora noted,
“Emerging studies in humans have linked increased abundance of Prevotella species at mucosal sites to localized and systemic disease, including periodontitis, bacterial vaginosis, rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic disorders, and low-grade systemic inflammation .”– Immunology
After Phase C, their gut biome returned to normal. So, continuing a keto diet plan over the long term might be beneficial in preventing autoimmune diseases.
Doesn’t Seem to Benefit Weight Loss
This ketogenic diet study brought upon a shocking revelation. It made the average Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes ratio dip in favor of the latter. Interestingly, an abundance of Firmicutes has been linked to obesity.
Levels of Firmicutes seemed to rise in our volunteers
With that said, about 90% of our stomach bacteria are either of Bacteroidetes or Firmicutes species. So, while there seem to be more Firmicutes bacteria in people who are obese, it doesn’t mean skinny people can’t have more Firmicutes than Bacteroidetes in their system.
At the end of the day, there needs to be an abundance of both in the body, and you just need to make sure the Firmicutes don’t get out of control. Based on our analysis, it seems like following a keto diet plan can keep these levels consistent enough to prevent weight gain. However, we don’t have enough data to determine if one of the benefits of the keto diet is weight loss.
Might Promote Bacteria Associated With Insulin Resistance
While ratios of Bacteroides to Firmicutes decreased, one species of this genus experienced a significant rise during our volunteers’ keto diet plan. Amounts of Bacteroides vulgatus saw a 20% jump during Phase B of our ketogenic diet study. These amounts continued to rise as the volunteers entered Phase C.
Those who follow a keto diet must do so responsibly
Research shows that excess Bacteroides vulgatus may cause a spike in branch-chained amino acids (BCAAs) . When we have too many BCAAs in the system, it makes significant changes to our metabolic processes. For one, excess BCAAs promote insulin resistance . Subsequently, LDL cholesterol levels drop, also making a person at risk for heart disease.
Subsequently, BCAAs are also essential for building muscle. That’s why a keto diet is so popular with weightlifters and CrossFit trainers. If you’re putting these BCAAs to good use they’re a tool. However, if you let them linger, they can be detrimental to your health.
Why Keto Diet Is Bad For Some People
Seeing these results may cause someone not to try a keto diet. However, the benefits of a ketogenic diet should include improving type 2 diabetes. After all, most people who have diabetes are encouraged to follow a low-carbohydrate diet.
Whether you have type 2 diabetes or not, you should talk to your doctor about proper nutrition before trying a new diet. However, both parties should be able to follow a keto diet and improve their overall health. The issues lie in too much fat from unhealthy sources.
A healthy high-fat diet includes:
• Coconut Oil
• MCT Oil
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Nut Butters
• Wild-Caught Fish
Of course, you can have your beef and lamb. However, these should be eaten in moderation. When analyzing four volunteers with their own taste preferences, their high-fat diet may not have had enough of the above-mentioned keto diet foods.
We believe our data doesn’t say a keto diet directly causes type 2 diabetes or heart disease. It just proves as a warning sign that we must be vigilant with the foods we choose. Just because you’re following the right guidelines doesn’t mean you’re eating the correct items. We must eat as many whole foods as possible and include more plant-based options to receive benefits of the keto diet.
Does the Keto Diet Work?
Our study is intended to provide a short-term look at what happens when someone switches from their usual grub to following a keto diet plan. We can’t determine with our results if the keto diet can aid in weight loss or prevent heart disease over the long-term. All we can do is see what happens to the gut bacteria over three days and use that to hypothesize these bacterias’ future trajectories.
What we can determine is that a ketogenic diet does promote gut bacteria diversity. Consuming a high-fat diet can improve gut lining and brain health. However, the quality of those foods can put you at risk, especially if you have underlying medical conditions. So, be sure you are educated about the proper foods to eat in a keto diet plan. Then, you can feel the true benefits of a keto diet.
Click Here To View Resources
 Shraddha Chakradhar, et al. “More than 15% of U.S. Adults Are Physically Inactive, New CDC Data Show.” STAT, 17 Jan. 2020, www.statnews.com/2020/01/16/physical-inactivity-us-adults-cdc-data/.
 LaManna, J. C., Salem, N., Puchowicz, M., Erokwu, B., Koppaka, S., Flask, C., & Lee, Z. (2009). Ketones suppress brain glucose consumption. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 645, 301–306. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-85998-9_45.
 Zeng, Qiang, et al. “Discrepant Gut Microbiota Markers for the Classification of Obesity-Related Metabolic Abnormalities.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 17 Sept. 2019, www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-49462-w.
 Ju, Tingting, et al. “Defining the Role of Parasutterella , a Previously Uncharacterized Member of the Core Gut Microbiota.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 11 Feb. 2019, www.nature.com/articles/s41396-019-0364-5.
 Zhou, Yingting, and Fachao Zhi. “Lower Level of Bacteroides in the Gut Microbiota Is Associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Meta-Analysis.” BioMed Research International, Hindawi, 24 Nov. 2016, www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/5828959/.
 Robert Glatter, MD. “Imbalance Of Gut Bacteria Linked To Elevated Risk For Diabetes.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 22 July 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2016/07/18/imbalance-of-gut-bacteria-linked-to-elevated-risk-for-diabetes/#495864a44ccc.
 Karusheva, Yanislava, et al. “Short-Term Dietary Reduction of Branched-Chain Amino Acids Reduces Meal-Induced Insulin Secretion and Modifies Microbiome Composition in Type 2 Diabetes: a Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 27 Aug. 2019, academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/110/5/1098/5555583.
 Larsen, Jeppe Madura. “The Immune Response to Prevotella Bacteria in Chronic Inflammatory Disease.” ResearchGate, May 2017, Immunology 151(4).
Veganism has taken the world by storm in the last several years. There are many reasons as to why so many people are suddenly turning to this kind of a diet. Some are doing it to help the environment by lowering greenhouse gas emissions caused by livestock. Others don’t want to partake in the abuse of animals that end up on our plates. Others are going vegan for gut health.
A recent 16-week vegan for gut health study found that a plant-based diet significantly increased diversity of stomach bacteria . This change in gut biome composition came with immense health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at going vegan for gut health and some vegan gut problems you may face.
Why Go Vegan for Gut Health?
At Thryve Inside, we believe that good gut health can be achieved by almost any diet. The Standard American Diet (SAD) has led the nation to an obesity epidemic. About two-thirds of adults and 30% of American children are overweight or obese .
There are plenty of healthy meats out there that can improve gut health. They include leaner proteins, such as fish and poultry. A little bit of red meat is very healthy. However, we tend to fill up on these proteins and drench them in hydrogenated oils and artificial ingredient-enriched marinades.
The top reason why a lot of folks want to cut meat and animal products from their diet is for their own health. Yes, science has proven that vegans are more healthy exactly because of what they consciously choose to eat .
Almost 50% of meat-eaters say that they are interested in becoming vegan due to health benefits, and a lot of people who already converted to veganism say that they do feel a lot more healthy. Let’s check out some vegan for gut health stats that can back these feelings up, shall we?
Vegan for Gut Health Nutrition
The common misconception about vegans is that they are making unhealthy choices by not having access to enough vitamins and nutrients that are found in meat and other animal products.While it is true that stuff like calcium, iron, and vitamin B12 are not commonly found in vegan food, nothing stops vegans from taking these in the form of supplements. Some vegan foods are even fortified with extra iron and other vitamins.
Although high levels of protein are found in a lot of meats, many vegan meals have protein as well, such as:
• Nuts (Brazil Nuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews)
• Seeds (Hemp, Pumpkin, Sunflower, Chia, Flaxseed)
• Soy (Tempeh, Tofu)
• Seitan (Wheat Germ)
• Whole Grains (Amaranth, Farro, Wild Rice, Quinoa)
Most plant-based foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Going vegan for gut health also means you get an abundance of potassium, magnesium, fiber, vitamins A, C, and E, antioxidants, and folate.
Vegan for Gut Health Weight Loss
Apart from all other benefits, many people choose to go vegan simply because they want to reduce their body weight. Weight management is best achieved when eating plants, fruits, roots, and other food that typically has low levels of saturated fat.
Of course, nuts and seeds are very high in calories, so going overboard with them can actually cause you to gain some weight. However, without excess omega-6s inflaming triggering symptoms of Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), most vegans don’t see issues from nut and seed consumption .
As long as you know what you’re eating and you’re treating yourself with the right doses, the weight loss is imminent.
Veganism and Decreased Risk of Cancer
Food-related cancers are more common than you might think. A lot of them are deadly, like colon cancer or prostate cancer .
Although these diseases have no known cure, there is an effective way on how to prevent them. You just need to eat healthier.
Consuming different kinds of legumes can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by more than 15%.
One analysis noted,
“Legumes are good sources of dietary protein, vitamin E, vitamin B, selenium, and lignans with potential cancer-preventive effects. Legumes have a high content of vitamin B6 and vitamin B6 intake was reported to reduce risk of colorectal cancer .”– Sci Rep.
Heart-disease deaths are fairly common in people who do not eat healthily. With a vegan diet, you will be 32% less likely to suffer a heart attack or have any potentially deadly heart diseases . Plant-based eaters also have a 23% less chance to develop type-2 diabetes.
Vegan for Gut Health Problems
Going vegan for gut health comes with its own set of problems. For one, you’ll be eating more dietary fiber. This change in diet is a great food for probiotic bacteria. However, it will also come with regulated bowel movements. It might be an uncomfortable transition, but your body will adjust.
If it doesn’t, then you might be sensitive to lectins. Lectins are proteins in legumes and members of the nightshade family. For some people, lectins act as antinutrients, binding to vitamins, and minerals our body needs to function.
At Thryve Inside, we believe you should still live a healthy life without compromising your morals. That’s why we compiled a how-to for navigating a lectin-free diet and how to eat vegan with stomach issues.
Click Here To View Resources
 “Short-Term Study Suggests Vegan Diet Can Boost Gut Microbes Related to Body Weight, Body Composition and Blood Sugar Control.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 16 Sept. 2019, ww.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190916185819.htm.
 Murray, Christopher J.L., et al. “The Vast Majority of American Adults Are Overweight or Obese, and Weight Is a Growing Problem among US Children.” Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 27 Nov. 2018, www.healthdata.org/news-release/vast-majority-american-adults-are-overweight-or-obese-and-weight-growing-problem-among.
 Appleby, Paul N, and Timothy J Key. “The Long-Term Health of Vegetarians and Vegans.” The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26707634.
 Scaioli, E., Liverani, E., & Belluzzi, A. (2017). The Imbalance between n-6/n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Comprehensive Review and Future Therapeutic Perspectives. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(12), 2619. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122619.
 Goljic, Dusan. “57 Striking Cancer Statistics to Be Aware of in 2020.” HealthCareers, HealthCareers, 11 Feb. 2020, healthcareers.co/cancer-statistics/.
 Zhu, B., Sun, Y., Qi, L., Zhong, R., & Miao, X. (2015). Dietary legume consumption reduces risk of colorectal cancer: evidence from a meta-analysis of cohort studies. Scientific reports, 5, 8797. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep08797.
 Kim, Hyunju, et al. “Plant‐Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All‐Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle‐Aged Adults.” Journal of the American Heart Association, 7 Aug. 2019, www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.119.012865.
When we gain weight, the fat tends to accumulate around the gut area. It’s safe to say that your stomach bacteria and fat tissue are in very close quarters. Therefore, it’s easy to assume that some gut bacteria and obesity are closely linked. Excess weight is not conducive to optimal health. Therefore, probiotic bacteria shouldn’t be abundant in people who have weight issues. Well, they’re not.
Researchers at Lund University conducted an analysis about gut bacteria and obesity . They looked at the amino acids present in the blood of those with an obesity diagnosis. From there, they traced the amino acids back to four common stomach bacteria. Let’s take a look at their findings and discuss the strong link between gut bacteria and obesity.
Gut Bacteria and Obesity Link
Our bodies are impeccably designed with systems that promote overall balance. Whenever homeostasis becomes unhinged, it starts a chain reaction of negative effects. Perhaps nothing in our system requires more balance than the stomach bacteria in our gut biome.
The microbiome is comprised of trillions of cells, fungi, bacteria, and other microbes. Don’t get alarmed by their presence. They’re essential. In fact, the more, the merrier. That’s because science shows that a diverse gut biome teeming with a variety of stomach bacteria leads to longevity.
An analysis of gut bacteria and health in the publication, Aging, concluded,
“Decreased diversity, considered an indicator of an unhealthy microbiome, has been linked to different chronic conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. In addition to decreased diversity, the changes of the gut microbiome composition to an imbalanced state, i.e. dysbiosis, also correlates with frailty, inflammation, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (PD) in the elderly .”– Aging (Albany NY).
As your gut biome becomes less diverse, it allows some pathogenic stomach bacteria to take advantage. They will start to take more resources, such as nutrients.
From there, the overabundance of specific bacteria will cause inflammation and uncomfortable gastrointestinal distress. With time, these tipped scales will cause your scale to tip, too. An imbalanced gut biome will lead to the buildup of fat tissue and, inevitably, obesity.
Amino Acids Role in Gut Bacteria and Obesity
The strong link between gut bacteria and obesity stems from a Lund University analysis that was studying which metabolites are present in obesity. Metabolites are byproducts of stomach bacteria that feast on our dietary fiber.
When there are a plethora of probiotic bacteria in the gut, the metabolites come in the form of short-chain fatty acids. That’s why Thryve Inside includes inulin in our probiotics. Live cultures in your probiotic supplement can start consuming dietary fiber so they can produce these healthy metabolites.
Like stomach bacteria, metabolites need to be in balance, too. When a stomach bacteria takes over, so does its metabolites. This realization caused scientists to pinpoint which amino acids are regular metabolites of which microbes. That way, they can find out the pathogens responsible for the gut bacteria and obesity connection.
Which Metabolites Are Connected to Gut Bacteria and Obesity?
Researchers looked at the blood plasma levels of 674 volunteers. The analysis noted that there were 19 metabolites that could serve as a link between gut bacteria and obesity. However, there are two, in particular, they felt fairly certain about.
Branched-Chain and Aromatic Amino Acids (BCAA)
Branched-chain and aromatic amino acids (BCAA) are very popular among weightlifting communities. That’s because BCAAs are the building blocks for human growth. This connection between growth and amino acids is also why these metabolites are a key indicator of obesity.
BCAAs are a clique of three essential amino acids:
These essential amino acids play a vital role in our metabolic signaling. When they are functioning with the system properly, BCAAs actually have anti-obesity properties. However, when they overtake the system, BCAAs can have the opposite effect.
As BCAA level rise, so does insulin resistance . Furthermore, BCAA regulates hormones like ghrelin and leptin that control our appetite. Thus, an influx of BCAA can cause us to consume more food.
Lastly, excess BCAAs cause inflammation in the pancreas, making it harder for us to produce enzymes. In turn, we have fewer catalysts to help us break down fat tissues.
Glutamate is one of the most abundant amino acids in the system. This building block has the ability to cross the blood-brain-barrier. Therefore, it’s an efficient neurotransmitter than improves our brain health. However, it’s easy for this amino acid to accumulate in the blood, and that can be an indicator of obesity.
Research suggests that excessive glutamate can overstimulate arcuate nucleus neurons . These nerve tissues send signals to our hypothalamus. This region of the brain is responsible for producing our hunger hormones.
Excess glutamate disrupts communication between the hypothalamus and leptin hormone that causes us to put down the fork. Therefore, too much glutamate may cause us to overeat.
Top 4 Gut Bacteria and Obesity Indicators
With the abundance of glutamate and BCAAs, the scientists had a road map to follow. They were able to pinpoint four dominant strains of stomach bacteria that may shift the belly’s scales towards obesity.
As we keep noting, life is about balance. It’s good to have Blautia in your system. This stomach bacteria exhibits antiviral traits and has shown to be useful in fighting off Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD) . However, too much Blautia is also a gut bacteria and obesity indicator.
While the other three gut bacteria and obesity indicators seemed to happen more in one sex over the other, Blautia doesn’t discriminate.
One analysis of Blautia and visceral fat accumulation (VFA) found,
“At the genus level we found that Blautia was the only gut microbe significantly and inversely associated with VFA, regardless of sex .”– Biofilms and Microbes
The study noted that people with high levels of Blautia and obesity tended to have lower levels of Bacteroidetes. So, these probiotic bacteria may be crucial in finding balance between gut bacteria and obesity.
Like Blautia, Dorea is abundant in people who are alcohol dependent . Unlike Blautia, there are no known benefits of Dorea. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a role. Otherwise, Dorea wouldn’t be present in healthy microbiomes; which it is. With little known about the benefits of Dorea, letting it take over has shown that it’s not good for the rest of the gut biome.
One analysis looked at how Dorea and Blautia play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), noting,
You might be noticing a pattern here, but Dorea has the same Kryptonite as Blautia. This stomach bacteria thrives in an environment sans-Bacteroidetes.
Ruminococcus strains were some of the first stomach bacteria discovered. It plays a crucial role in our metabolism. Unfortunately, too much of this stomach bacteria is a key indicator of Irritable Bowel Disease.
One study on the inflammatory properties of Ruminococcus found that it creates metabolites in the form of glucomannan polysaccharides .
Polysaccharides of Ruminococcus have found to ignite immune system cells, such as TNFα. Unfortunately for our gut, TNFα is an inflammatory biomarker for symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.
Not much is known about the last gut bacteria and obesity connection. SHA-98 is present in healthy microbiomes. However, too much can lead to obesity. With the little information known about SHA-98, we can assume it might have to do with cases of hereditary obesity.
One analysis of the gut bacteria of twins found that this bacteria played a role in hereditary blood pressure levels . Therefore, it can be assumed that elevated SHA-98 levels in obese individuals pass this bacteria to their offspring. After all, a child of obese parents has a 50-80% chance of becoming obese themselves .
Find Out If You Have Gut Bacteria and Obesity Indicators
Are you trying to lose weight and having a little trouble getting the pounds off? It might not be anything you’re doing. The problem might be the stomach bacteria in your gut.
Rid yourself of questions and get some answers. Take one of our at-home gut tests. We can analyze the stomach bacteria in your gut. With that knowledge, we can help you find balance with a custom probiotic and prebioitc-rich diet plan.
Together, we can find out if you have gut bacteria and obesity indicators. Then, we can create an easy-to-follow action plan. No one’s gut or weight loss journey is like anybody else’s. So, personalize your path to wellness today.
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