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The F Word Your Gut, Waistline and Blood Glucose Will Appreciate

Apr 04, 2020

by Dahlia Gomez, MS, RD, LD, CDCES

There are trillions of bacteria living in our intestines, collectively known as the “gut microbiome,” and they do everything from influence gene expression, to talking to your brain and affecting your weight.  

Evidence continues to emerge on how the diversity and types of bacteria in the gut contribute to autoimmune disease, obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, Alzheimer’s, IBS and more. These conditions, whose contributing factors are complicated, may simply be made better or worse by a person’s diet (1,2,3,4).  


The types of bacteria in your gut can also influence your weight by affecting the number of calories absorbed or excreted.


Gut bacteria make up about 70% of our immune system and produce over 95% of your serotonin, as well as form a symbiotic relationship with the host (4). The types of bacteria in your gut can also influence your weight by affecting the number of calories absorbed or excreted (1). A typical Western diet high in saturated fat and animal protein is associated with having more bacteria that increase the risk of obesity (3). However, a diet high in fiber, whole grains and plant foods is associated with having more beneficial bacteria (3). The distribution of the type of bacteria is also influenced by your diet. For example, an imbalance is correlated with obesity and diabetes, but it is unclear if the imbalance causes or results from disease (1). 

So as diabetes care and education specialists, how can we promote weight loss, decrease risks of depression and help manage blood glucose all at once?  Fiber!  


We can encourage the consumption of fiber rich carbohydrates and still help individuals manage their blood glucose if we work with them to limit the amount of carbohydrate eaten at one time.


Fiber is tied to plant foods, which naturally contain carbohydrates. We can encourage the consumption of fiber rich carbohydrates and still help individuals manage their blood glucose if we work with them to limit the amount of carbohydrate eaten at one time. It is crucial that carbohydrate consumption revolve around desired blood glucose levels. For example, if blood glucose are at target (80-130mg/dl), they can eat oatmeal with fruit; if they are >130mg/dl, maybe a vegetable omelet with 1 slice of double fiber bread. Remember that women need about 25 grams of fiber per day and men need 38 grams per day.  

So next time your working with a client, use the F word to manage gut, waistline and blood glucose. They’ll thank you for it!  

Sample High Fiber Meal Plan for People Living with Diabetes to Support Weight Loss 

Breakfast

 

Overnightoats w/ chia seeds, flaxseed + 1 boiled egg

 

Lunch

 

4 oz grilled fish, ½c lentils, ½ cup peas, 1 cup green beans

 

Snack

 

1 pear w/10 almonds

 

Dinner

 

White bean and avocado toast on double fiber bread

 

Snack

 

½ cup soybeans

 

Nutrient Info:

 

1300 kcals, 86 grams protein, 154 grams carbohydrate (45% of kcals, which is considered “low carb”), 41 grams of fat, only 6 grams from saturated fat, and a whopping 60 grams of fiber! You can subtract 60 grams of fiber from the 154 grams for a NET CARB consumption of 94 grams.

 

  

References

  1. Baumler, M.  Gut Bacteria.  Today’s Dietitian Magazine, 2014;Vol .15, No.6, P.46 
  2. Brown-Riggs, C.  The Gut Microbiota — Is It a Novel Contributor to the Obesity and Diabetes Epidemics?  Today's Dietitian. 2013;Vol. 16, No. 11, P. 22
  3. Dennett, C. Plant-Based Diets and the Gut Microbiota, Todays Dietitian, 2018; Vol.20,No.7, P.36 
  4. Rasnik, K. et.al.  Influence of Diet on the Gut Microbiome and Implications for Human Health.  Journal of Translational Medicine, 2017;15:73 


ADCES Perspectives on Diabetes Care

The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists Perspectives on Diabetes Care covers diabetes, prediabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions. Not all views expressed reflect the official position of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists.

Copyright is owned or held by the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered, and proper attribution is made to the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists.

HEALTHCARE DISCLAIMER: This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your diabetes care and education specialist or healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. To find a diabetes care and education specialist near you, visit DiabetesEducator.org/Find.

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