Over the past 1/2 century we have seen a rising epidemic known as obesity. This isn’t simply due to the fact that people are over eating. As it turns out there are multiple factors involved including
- Our quality of food that contributes. Genetically modified foods, for example, have already been proven to cause food sensitivities and decreased absorption in animal studies and we are lacking in studies proving long term safety in humans. The same with pesticide use. These key issues may likely be causing inflammation throughout your body putting you at risk for all sorts of health complications including weight gain. Furthermore, food sensitivities are often derived from such foods and when eating large quantities of food in short periods of time this exacerbates inflammation. Addressing the reason, not simply the problem of weight gain is of fundamental importance. The Mediterranean diet when done appropriately is a lower calorie nutrient rich diet that helps combat health problems. Ensuring this is followed with organic, Non-GMO foods contains high Omega threes, B vitamins, and antioxidants all shown in studies to prevent heart health issues, fight inflammation, and induce weight loss. Other diets like the Paleo diet are based on similar principles of less inflammatory and allergen containing foods containing more nutrient dense ones. In our practice we are firm believers that a personalized approach is key and starting patients on a plan right for their body type is the ideal way to not only optimal weight but overall health.
- Gut health is the next important topic. Many people have already heard of the benefits of probiotics in building solid intestinal health but it turns out to be even more helpful in maintaining optimal weight. Early experiments with mice showed if you switch the gut microbiome between fat and skinny mice, this causes skinny mice to become fat with no other changes in lifestyle. After mapping the human microbiome or intestinal bacteria we are learning trends of bacteria causing inflammatory and that have an association with obesity. Often times dietary change alone can help change this microbiome in a matter of weeks but supplements and probiotics have shown to help. In our practice we perform intestinal microbiome testing as one of the first steps in improving inflammation and health.
- Last but not least, one of the most important cause of obesity is stress. Interesting enough this is something many people know living in today’s society but find it difficult to manage. Stress increases cortisol in response. This in turn increases inflammation in our body, fat secretion and storage, and also lowers our protective sex hormones. These hormones such as Estrogen and Testosterone are responsible for controlling bad cholesterol levels and help reduce fat accumulation. Fortunately, Functional Medicine helps address and correct the underlying issue at hand restoring your balance.