A company ubiome.com has a test kit to monitor the bacteria in your gut, mouth, nose, genitals and skin.
There are many ways to have good gut health from Dr Mercola:
- Food addiction is a pervasive challenge, and one that can prevent you from implementing strategies you know would benefit your health
- Sugar, refined carbs, salt, trans fats, and MSG act just like heroin or cocaine, giving you pleasure by triggering an innate process in your brain via dopamine and opioid signals
- No matter what disease you’re trying to conquer, you have to address the basics of diet. Many symptoms will disappear without any other intervention
- Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways to eliminate sugar cravings and shed unwanted weight, as it speeds up your body’s ability to reset and start burning fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel
- Dr. Hyman’s detox diet revolves around replacing processed foods with real foods for 10 days. This will help you detox from sugar, reset your body’s chemistry, and eliminate food addictions.
Treating Food Addiction Through Functional Medicine
Insulin and leptin resistance drives and promotes fat storage in your body by promoting hunger and slowing down your metabolism. Dr. Hyman wrote a book called The Blood Sugar Solution, which addresses this.
Since then, he’s become increasingly aware of food addictions, caused by the addictive nature of sugar, refined carbs, salt, and trans fats. These substances act just like heroin or cocaine,3 giving you pleasure by triggering an innate process in your brain via dopamine and opioid signals. Casein and gluten (a major component of wheat) also have addictive properties.
Your brain essentially becomes addicted to stimulating the release of its own opioids. The food industry has cashed in on this effect,4 deliberately hijacking your tastebuds, your brain chemistry, and your metabolism. As Dr. Hyman notes, the food industry has created an entire nation of people addicted to processed junk foods.
Americans eat about 152 pounds of sugar per person per year. The average American also eats an additional 146 pounds of refined flour per year, and flour has a higher glycemic index than table sugar.
Added sugars (processed fructose in particular) and refined flour are the two primary drivers of food addiction. Dr. Hyman places monosodium glutamate (MSG) in third place. MSG is hidden in many processed foods under a wide variety of names. It’s a flavor enhancer, but it’s also highly addictive, and helps drive up your insulin.
“That’s what’s driving so much of the metabolic derangement that makes it very difficult for people to stop eating,” he says. “We have this culture where we blame the fat person.
We go, ‘If you just exercised more and ate less, everything would be better.’ It’s just about ‘calories in, calories out’ energy balance. That’s the message from the government. That’s the message from the food industry. ‘It’s just about moderation.
There are no good and bad foods.’ I realized that that was fundamentally not true,” he says. “I realized we need to reframe the story, and we need to put people on a medical sugar detox to get them to reset…
[Food] is information. It gives instructions that turn on/off genes, that regulate hormones, and that regulate immune system function. If you put in the right healing foods and take out the foods that are harmful – your body will actually reset very quickly.”
Intermittent Fasting—One of the Best Ways to Eliminate Sugar Cravings
Taking Dr. Hyman’s approach one step further, I suggest implementing an intermittent fasting program. This is truly one of the most effective ways I know of to eliminate sugar cravings and shed unwanted weight, as it really speeds up your body’s ability to reset and start burning fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel. When your body no longer uses sugar as primary fuel, the sugar cravings disappear like magic.
There are many different variations of intermittent fasting. If you are like 85 percent of the population and have insulin resistance, my personal recommendation is to fast every day by simply scheduling your eating into a narrower window of approximately eight hours every day. For example, you could restrict your eating to the hours of 11am and 7pm. Essentially, you’re just skipping breakfast and making lunch your first meal of the day instead. This equates to a daily fasting of 16 hours—twice the minimum required to deplete your glycogen stores and start shifting into fat burning mode.
I find this method to be easier than fasting for a full 24 hours or more, twice a week. Once you are at your ideal body weight, and do not have diabetes, high blood pressure, or abnormal cholesterol levels, you can be less rigid with your fasting. However, it is probably best to resume some type of scheduled eating regimen once in a while, to make sure you don’t slip back into old habits.
High Intensity Exercise Boosts Your Metabolism
Like myself, Dr. Hyman incorporates high intensity interval training (HIIT) in his fitness program, which has repeatedly been shown to be one of the most effective and efficient ways to exercise—especially if you want to lose weight. Studies show that with HIIT, you can spend less time exercising and get more benefits, lose more weight, and burn more calories while you sleep, and achieve a greater level of fitness.
“I love to play. I really hate to exercise,” he says. “You won’t find me in a gym very often. But I love to play so I don’t have to. In the summer, I’m riding my bike all over the hills and the Berkshires. I play tennis. I play basketball with my son. I go running in the woods with my dog. I do a lot of varied exercises. I do a lot of yoga. I find that really helpful for sort of many, many different reasons.
I do some high-intensity interval training (HIIT), where I’ll do 7- or 10-minute high-intensity bursts of interval training with lots of the calisthenics-type stuff, many push-ups and chin-ups. That is really effective in actually speeding up my metabolism. I’m 54, and I’m leaner, fitter, and more muscular than I was 10 years ago, which is fascinating to see, by just changing my diet and changing my routine a little bit. It’s not even a lot. I’m super busy. If I can do it, anybody can do it.”
Connie’s comments: Eat raw garlic, probiotics such as kefir, picked veggies and yogurt. About moldy foods and sugary foods. Add lemon in your water.