Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How to lose the bloat and end the war against carbs!

This week we're dishing up answers to two of our top four questions.

1. Are carbs bad for you? 

This is something we get asked a lot. The simple answer: no. The slightly more complicated truth: all carbs are not created equal.

White, starchy, refined carbs (think flour, sandwich bread, pastry, cakes and other naughty things) are not going to win you a healthy eating award – they often come with added nasties (sweeteners, preservatives, additives and the like). The carbs in whole grains, fruit and vegetables on the other hand should form a large part of a healthy diet.

Some people – such as diabetics and candida sufferers – should monitor their carb intake closely. As for the rest of us, we should ease up on the war against carbs and focus instead on choosing whole, natural foods.

2. How do I lose the bloat?

Possibly our favourite question. As someone who suffered from bloating in the past, I know just how hard it is to get rid of!

If you have been to see your GP and gone through all the routine tests (such as celiac disease), then you may need to look at it more naturopathically. The most common causes of bloating are dysbiosis (overgrowth of bad bacteria such as candida in the gut) and food intolerances. Milk and wheat are the common culprits when it comes to intolerance-related bloating but yeast and sugar can also trigger the dreaded bloat for candida sufferers.

All fellow bloatees should make sure they get on top of the bacteria levels in their gut. Sometimes a probiotic is not enough and a more potent anti-bacterial/fungal supplement may be required to kill off the bad bacteria: garlic, pau d’arco, black walnut, oregano oil, thyme oil and caprylic acid to name a few. Probiotics and prebiotics would be the next step in the equation.

Naturopathically, this is known as the ‘weed, seed and feed’ approach:
weed: wage war on bad bacteria
seed: plant lovely good bacteria in your tummy
feed: nourish the good bacteria with their favourite food – prebiotics

Stay tuned for two more top questions next week!

No comments: