Carbohydrates, Prebiotics and the Microbiome
Why do we eat big portions and never feel full?
Our diets aren’t always great, and it’s not necessarily our fault. Sometimes food choices are limited. Sometimes our busy lifestyles mean convenience wins out over the quality of what we eat.
Convenient food tends to be things like pizza, bread, rice, potatoes and sugary drinks. They’re quick and easy, but they’re also rich in digestible carbohydrates, which affects our bodies in a number of ways.
During digestion, carbs get turned into sugars like glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. If there’s more glucose than your body needs, it’s stored as fat that can be converted to energy later on. Your body has cells specifically for storing fat. But if those cells are full, fat gets stored in muscles and organs like the liver. This isn’t healthy.
Another problem with carb-rich food is that we tend to overeat. Since digestible carbohydrates are digested quickly, your body doesn’t produce the signals that trigger a feeling of fullness. Meals become larger and more frequent.
Prebiotic, Undigestible Carbohydrates
Poor food choices are more about the things we don’t eat rather than the things we do eat. Many modern diets don’t include enough of the edible plants that humans have traditionally consumed.
Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are crucial because they contain prebiotics, or carbohydrates that cannot be digested. These prebiotics are transported through our digestive tract to the large intestine, where they become nutrients for the microorganisms known as the gastrointestinal microbiome.
The GI microbiome has close to 1,000 different species of bacteria and tens of trillions of individual microorganisms. They’re naturally occurring in the GI tract and play a role in a number of healthy bodily functions.
The bacteria forage on prebiotics, converting them into new molecules called short chain fatty acids, or SCFAs, which sets off a series of events. The presence of SCFAs triggers the intestines to release hormones into the bloodstream. In turn, the hormones signal to the brain to let your body feel satisfied with the meal and that it’s time to stop eating.
So when we don’t eat enough prebiotics, the SCFAs aren’t created, the intestines don’t release hormones and the brain never gets the message that we’re full. In other words, we overeat.
Shifting the Microbiome
The good news is that the GI microbiome can be shifted. Consuming healthy amounts of prebiotic fiber can expand the amount and types of bacteria in the microbiome to help ensure the body works as nature intended. After a few days, you might naturally decrease your meal size, lower the simple sugars and decrease fat storage.
“The good news is that the GI microbiome can be shifted. Consuming healthy amounts of prebiotic fiber can expand the amount and types of bacteria in the microbiome to help ensure the body works as nature intended.”
If you start eating only green vegetables and whole fruits, you’ll likely achieve the benefits of a healthy diet. But as a practical matter, not everyone has that kind of discipline or time. When it comes to your diet, it’s often easier to start a simple, new routine rather than remove things that require big changes in lifestyle and behavior.
That’s one of the reasons why we developed BiomeBliss. It supplies the dietary prebiotics that are often missing from a modern diet. But it’s also convenient and fits easily fit into your habits and social behavior.
Over time, the cycle of binge and dieting can be broken. We believe you can help manage your hunger as you move into a new lifestyle that’s focused on healthy eating and healthier outcomes.
Claims made by BiomeBliss have not been reviewed by the FDA. BiomeBliss is not intended to treat, prevent or cure disease.