Gutbliss - Dr. Robynne Chutkan


A new study in Nature Communications confirms that when it comes to weight loss, not all calories are created equal.

It’s all about what you’re feeding your gut microbes! Processed foods that are low in fiber and typical of a Western diet (think packaged chips, cereals, and sugary snacks) are rapidly absorbed in your upper GI tract – providing maximal calories for you, and minimal for your gut bacteria. Less processed high-fiber foods like lentils, oats, fruits, and vegetables contain indigestible fiber that isn’t fully absorbed in your upper GI tract and ends up providing lots of food for the bacteria lower down in your GI tract. These “microbiome enhancing” foods are fermented by gut microbes in your colon into healthy byproducts called short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are important for gut, immune, and metabolic health. 

In this well designed study, despite consuming the exact same amount of calories, participants on the high-fiber diet lost more weight and body fat and had higher levels of health promoting SCFA’s than those on the processed diet. They also had increased levels of the hormone GLP-1, which helps us feel full (the diabetes and weight loss drug Ozempic works by mimicking the actions of GLP-1). So if you’re interested in shedding some pounds, focus on the food, not the calories. Choose unprocessed plant foods like whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds – all the Gutbliss approved foods we love!

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Dr Robynne Chutkan
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