COLORADO SPRINGS — Betsy Opyt is a Registered Dietitian in Naples, Florida. She says the benefits of a diet rich in probiotics is that it can help you manage your weight. Your gut is filled with good and bad bacteria. The bad bacteria feeds off of sugars and unhealthy foods in your diet, which creates even more sugar in your gut.
"So the more sugar you eat, obviously the more inflamed your body becomes. And when you're inflamed, you can't lose weight. So keeping that in mind that healthy high fiber diet," she said.
Opyt said getting your probiotics, which are the good bacteria and yeasts that naturally live in your body, supports the growth of more good, healthy bacteria, which doesn't create the sugars the bad bacteria does.
When trying to eat healthier, Opyt said there's a misconception that you should avoid carbohydrates, when in reality, some of those carbs help keep your gut healthy.
"Everyone's scared to eat carbohydrates, but some of these healthy carbohydrates are the ones that have all the good, good fiber. So it actually helps you manage weight, because you're keeping the right gut bacteria in check," she said.
Opyt also suggests intermittent fasting, not just for weight loss, but for good gut health. Intermittent fasting is an eating plan that focuses on when you eat. You eat during a specific time, then fast for a certain number of hours each day.
"Everyone should do a baseline of at least 12 hours. But if you push it to like 12-16 hours, it actually gives your motor complex — the gut bacteria, there's a particular bacteria that its job is to clean out the gut wall while you're fasting. So when people get up late night and eat, they're interrupting that, and not helping their gut microbiome turn over the bad and damaged bacteria," Opyt said.
Foods that are fermented are rich in probiotics, like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha. Opyt said it's best to get probiotics from your diet, but if you can't eat those foods or don't like them, a supplement also works.
Sugar and simple carbohydrates are both things we find in copious amounts around the holidays and we'll be talking more about sugar and weight gain next week.