Aside from what you can see on the scale, eating junk food can do more than just make you gain weight. There is a lot more that takes place inside of your body after you consuming a greasy hamburger, an order of fries, and a soda to wash it all down. The essential microbes inside of your stomach that keep you healthy and feeling good, can go on a rampage. In order to feel your best, it is important to eat the foods that are good for you.
When Morgan Spurlock notoriously invested a month eating large meals from McDonalds for the use in his documentary Supersize Me, he put on weight, harmed his liver and claimed to have suffered addicting withdrawal symptoms. This was widely credited to the harmful mix of carbohydrates and fat, plus the added chemicals and preservatives in processed food. However, could there be another explanation?
We may have forgotten about the others who really don't find enjoyment in consuming junk food. These are the poor beings that stay in the dark in our guts; the hundred trillion microbes that surpass our overall human cells 10 to one and digest our food, provide lots of vitamins and nutrients and keep us healthy. Until just recently we have actually viewed them as hazardous-- but the bad ones (like salmonella) are a small minority while most are essential for us.
Studies in laboratory mice have actually revealed that when fed an intensive high fat diet plan, their microorganisms change dramatically, and for the worse. This can be partially avoided by using probiotics; however there are evident differences between us and laboratory mice, in addition to our natural microorganisms.
A current study took a group of Africans who ate a standard regional diet plan, high in beans and vegetables, and switched their diet with a group of African Americans who consumed a diet plan high in fat and animal proteins and low dietary fiber. The Africans fared worse on American-style food: their metabolism changed to a diabetic and unhealthy profile within simply 2 weeks. Instead, the African Americans had lower markers for colon cancer threat. Tests of both groups showed really different microbiomes, the populations of microorganisms in their guts.
Remarkably, no one has actually specifically examined the effect of junk food on westerners from the viewpoint of the microbiome.
One researcher who wrote the book The Diet Myth, has been exploring a number of uncommon diets and taped their impacts on his gut microbes. These diets consist of fasting, a colonoscopy diet, and an extensive unpasteurized French cheese diet plan. His son Tom, a final year student of genes at the University of Aberystwyth suggested an extra vital experiment: to track the microbes as they altered from an average western diet plan to an intensive fast food diet for over a week.
The father wasn't the ideal subject since he was not on a typical diet, but Tom, who like many students enjoyed his fast food, was. So Tom accepted being the guinea pig on the basis that his dad paid for all his meals and he could analyze and write up his outcomes for his argumentation.
The strategy was to eat all his meals at the local McDonalds for 10 days. He was able to consume either a Big Mac or Chicken nuggets, plus fries and Coke. For extra vitamins he was permitted beer and crisps at night. He would collect excrement samples prior to, for the duration of and subsequent to his diet plan and send them to 3 different laboratories to inspect consistency.
Tom started in high spirits and a lot of his fellow students were envious of his unlimited processed food budget. As he put it:
“I felt good for 3 days, then gradually declined, I ended up being more sluggish, and by a week my buddies believed I had actually gone an unusual grey color. The last few days were a genuine struggle. I felt actually unwell, however, certainly had no addicting withdrawal symptoms, and when I finally completed, I hurried (uncharacteristically) to the shops to get some salad and fruit.”
While it was clear the extensive diet plan had actually made him feel momentarily weak, they needed to wait a few months for the results to come back. The findings came from Cornell University in the US and the crowdfunded British Gut Project, which permits individuals to obtain their microbiome checked with the results shared online for any individual to assess. They all came back with the same story: Tom's community of gut microbes (called a microbiome) had actually been ravaged.
Tom's digestive tract had seen enormous shifts in his typical microorganism groups for factors that are still uncertain. Firmicutes were replaced with Bacteroidetes as the dominant type, while friendly bifidobacteria that reduce swelling halved. However, the clearest marker of an unhealthy gut is losing species diversity. After just a few days, Tom had actually lost an approximated 1,400 types-- nearly 40 % of his total. The changes continued and even 2 weeks after the diet his microbes had actually not recuperated. Loss of diversity is a universal signal of disease in the digestive tracts of overweight and diabetic individuals and sets off a range of immunity issues in lab mice.
The idea that junk food is bad for you is not news, but knowing that they decimate our gut microorganisms to such a degree and so rapidly is fretting. Many people consume junk food on a regular basis, and even if they do not get fat from the calories, the body's metabolic process and immune system are suffering via the impacts on the microbes.
We rely on our germs to produce much of our necessary nutrients and vitamins while they rely on us eating plants and fruits to give them energy and produce healthy chemicals which keep our body immune system working regularly.
While this may be unlikely to stop people from consuming junk food, understand that the devastating effects on our microbes and our long term health might potentially be reduced if we also consume foods which our microbes enjoy like probiotics (yogurts), root vegetables, nuts, olives and high-fiber foods. Exactly what they appear to crave, above all else, is food diversity and a piece of pickle in the hamburger just isn't enough.
Before heading up to the local fast-food restaurant to grab lunch or dinner, consider what you are doing to your body. Instead of filling it full of fats, sugars, carbohydrates and other unhealthy ingredients, consider choosing healthier options that will assist in improving your overall health and well-being.