Eat the RAINBOW: why your diet is messing you up

Mar 25, 2021

So I went on Instagram live with my friend Jen Fugo of the Healthy Skin Show. During this live feed, she asked me this question " do you think that the carnivore diet is more problematic for long-term gastrointestinal health than it is helpful?"

What is the carnivore diet -? You only eat meat, eggs, and just animal by-products. You eliminate any fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds, and veggies.

So right off the bat, my gut tells me this restrictive diet will mess up with your gut flora. Research is clear about the importance of diversity of microbiome and fiber's significance in one's health. A little known fact is that your diet today can have lasting impacts- over four generations long. So whatever you put in your body right now will impact the health of your great-grandkids.

 "But Christa", you say, "I've cut down on carbs, which made me feel better already!"

Eliminating certain food groups can work, but if you want to address the problem, you have to dig around to determine why your body is reacting that way. 

Predisposition from particular illness or conditions such as allergies, for example, play a role in how you metabolize and absorb chemicals from food. 

Working as a nutritionist, I have seen the benefits of food restriction, if done correctly and over a short period. My goal is to help you find a healthy relationship with food to address any external or internal deficiencies. 

In episode 151 of the Less Stressed Life podcast, I give my two cents on how restrictive diets impact your microbiome.  

You can check out this episode two ways! scroll down or click on this link!

 

 

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT 

All right. Recently, I did an Instagram live with my friend, Jen Fugo of the healthy skin show. And it was really because we were having a Voxer. Voxer is like a walkie-talkie app about, she was seeing people that are into carnivores. Her question was, do you think that the carnivore diet is more problematic for long-term gastrointestinal health than helpful as what she asked me? And my gut reaction is that the carnivore diet, which is like eating meat only is a low fiber AKA low carb diet. And the research is really clear on long term, low fiber. So a couple studies PMI D two nine, nine Oh two four three six. The impact of dietary fiber on gut microbiota and host health and diseases. Basically this is a mouse study, but when mice with gut bacteria from a human were put on a low fiber diet that diversity of their intestinal bacteria plummeted, and four generations of mice later were affected because the losses were reversible. So we know this, there are other studies that basically show that. So like, let's talk about what you feel when you reduce carbohydrates and you feel better. It's probably because you're not digesting them well. And why don't you digest carbohydrates? Well is because of certain gut bacteria that are already overgrown, that are creating issues with the digestion of the carbs, essentially. Okay. So when you reduce it, sometimes you'll feel better. Like this is a really common phenomenon for someone to be like, Oh, I feel good for a while. And then it changes and then you don't feel good anymore. So what's supposed to happen in the gut is you're supposed to use fiber. I mean, like Dr. Arthur Frankl talked about this in his oncology podcasts, they talked about this mice study that they did, where they massively increased plant foods and fibers and the successful outcomes and their chemo stuff was like astronomical. He replicated a study of one of his colleagues and he like fed 250 mice by hand. And it was cute for him to like talk about it. But he said, I didn't even try to submit the results because it was like, they were so significant that he didn't think anyone would believe him. So here's, what's supposed to happen in the gut. You're supposed to be able to digest your fibers and then your body's supposed to use those fibers and make short chain fatty acids and heal itself. That's what's supposed to happen. So if you can't digest, it basically creates a whole lot of problems. Now, she had had a couple recent stool tests where it showed just really terrible, low bacterial diversity. And our goal long-term is like lots of good, good bacterial diversity. Now we could apply this to other diets as well. Keto is also high fat, moderate protein, and very low carb. So similar thing, I actually had a recent client and she came to me grain-free because when she went gluten-free her skin looked a lot better than she went grain-free or AIP, paleo. And when I got her stool results, it was really low, good bacteria, diversity. And essentially she'd been without really trying to be kind of keto because she'd eliminated all grains from her diet. So you see a really low positive diversity. Now this is like the analogy of a parking lot. I think Kelsey Kenny talked about the parking lot analogy. When she talked about prebiotics, when you have low diversity, you have like kind of a half empty parking lot, you know, who's going to move in to the parking lot. Like you're going to need to fill it up. So bad stuff is going to fill in if you have an empty parking lot. So this can be similar when people go grain-free or paleo or AIP, paleo, it can be the same thing. So if it works for awhile and then seems to stop working it's because like, if you're having bacterial dysbiosis and you reduce the food for it, the natural shift is when you go grain-free is like, now you're eating a lot more whole foods, most likely. And then if that stops being very effective for you, it's like, Hey, did you really address the real problem? Or did you just like eliminate foods from your diet? Because long-term severe eliminations are not really what we're looking for. Like, we want a really diverse, healthy diet, like awesome fibers, which is a more whole food diet. But if you have to continue to reduce, reduce, reduce forever, there's probably something not working quite right. I'm going to give you a couple more examples. The other day, someone asked me in a call, is there a test for salicylates and oxalates? Because she's from California, she didn't have done a bajillion test, which is a really California thing to do. And there is a book Karen Fisher's book called the eczema diet. And it's really like low salicylate, low raspberry, et cetera is a big source of salicylates. Anyway. So I would say these are natural food chemicals, oxalates kind of feel like a sharp crystal and the root cause. There is on the organic acids test. You can see if oxalic acid is high, but the root cause of elevated oxalates is a fungal overgrowth. So reducing oxalates, which is so like lame, and you could never keep all this crap straight sucks because it's not really the root cause. So for some people that are really symptomatic, maybe they need to reduce it really short term. That's what I'll do is I'll tweak things short term with the knowledge that this is not a long-term thing. Similarly with salicylates like, if you can't metabolize this properly, why is that? And it's usually something going on in the microbiome, very same thing with histamine, another natural food, chemical histamine. You've seen this, it's like very common with like chronic rashes. There's a predisposition. So if you have a predisposition to allergies and then there's the exacerbation and then how it's metabolized. So basically good gut bacteria allows that to metabolize properly good liver function allows it to be eliminated properly. So this is something I address constantly in practice. So thank God for podcasts again, because they give me the opportunity to tell you a little bit more to the story, rather than like, does this just fit in one sentence? And then the last thing I want to say that I think is important to just mention, is that what do people usually do with that diets? And I'm not saying these are fats necessarily, but we usually do them for awhile and then abandon them. And this is like a new realization that I've come to in terms of one of the reasons that people really like them for a while is because feel like there is good community around that. And people are really looking for community, even in their food choices, which is really interesting. And that goes beyond the nourishment standpoint, it goes to like the emotional aspects. And I think this is another important part. Is do you have first a healthy relationship with food? How did you grow up? Did your mother like her body? Did you grow up around diet diet? Like it was everyone around, you always dieting. Those are hard. Like when I have a conversation with someone, you can kind of realize that their food relationship is not good right away. And that's always one of the first things we're trying to improve, or I'm not going to do something to make their food relationship worse, or that's never the goal. We always want to be trying to patch and repair food relationships because this is quite a big long-term problem. Anyway, that's how different diets affect microbiome and what's going on inside. I hope that was helpful. Have a great day. We spent some time reflecting on my own phases of burnout this year and past years. And I know I'm not the only one that has gone through or goes through these peaks and valleys. And while sometimes you need Lowe's to appreciate the highs in life. Some valleys are pretty difficult for both your mind and your body in a very literal physical way. This year, I'm feeling really pulled to help others work through burnout, nourish their adrenals, mind, body, and spirit, and have some incredible things in store to help you feel refreshed and renewed. I invite you to take my quiz. Are you approaching burnout to assess your stress resilience and find out more about how to help you overcome it? Go to Krista bigler.com forward slash burnout to take that quiz. And it'll also be in the show notes.

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