How Bacteria in Your Body Can Make You Fat


The battle of the bulge just got a little bit bigger. It’s no secret that fighting fat is hard and even harder to fix in the long term. Read on and check out my latest CBS NY segment for more on this great topic!

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Even if you eat less and move more your work can still be cut out for you, especially if you don’t have the right bacteria on your side. A growing body of research is pointing toward how certain bacteria can make you fat and make it even harder for you to lose weight.

Our body is a collection of bacteria, most of which are good, helping our body run smoothly and fight off disease. But the 10% that are not, are notorious fat-loving bacteria which have been discovered to be far more common in people who have weight problems.

Fat loving bacteria live in your gut and release toxins that can negatively affect certain genes involved in fat activation and breakdown. This in turn leads to more fat. These gut bugs also spit off inflammatory chemicals that increase your risk of cancer and other nasty conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Fat loving bacteria are super hungry and very efficient at extracting and storing calories in you so they can survive. It’s a vicious cycle that can make it hard for you to manage your appetite as fullness signals are interrupted and hunger management is even more difficult.

The good news is that this may be fixable. You can starve your fat bugs by reducing calories. As you lose weight the proportion of lean bacteria improves. There are promising studies done in mice showing that transferring lean bacteria to obese mice led to their weight loss. While this is still experimental, in the meantime you can work to change your gut flora naturally.

But before you reach for a bottle of probiotics or start gobbling down yogurt, realize that there are many healthy strains of good bacteria that your body needs. Their specific role for various conditions is not yet determined so it’s best to look to a wide range of food sources to cover your bases.

The key to finding healthful probiotic bacteria comes from the age old practice of fermenting foods for preservation. Many cultures have their own unique food product that was routinely used in their diet. These foods provide nutrients, introduce healthful strains of bacteria, guard against illness, fight inflammation and may have contributed to a lean physique by fighting off fat loving bacteria.

You can find healthy bacteria in a wide range of foods, herbals and botanicals. Some are quite common like yogurt, kefir, leben, ayran, fermented cheeses, miso, tempeh, kimchi, barrel cured sauerkraut, aged unfiltered vinegars and kombucha tea, while others may still be considered relatively exotic and need to be purchased at ethnic markets.

Bring on the bugs but don’t forget to feed your little lean critters with their preferred food. Prebiotic foods give your healthful bacteria the energy to grow and colonize in your body. Switch out refined sugars and starches for fibrous plant foods. Top food sources include beans, legumes, sulfur rich cabbage family foods, onions, garlic, field greens like chickory and dandelion, bran, wheat berries, buckwheat, oats, flax, tomatoes, kiwi, cherries and berries.

Show your fat bacteria the door! In just a few days fighting fat just got easier as you put lean bacteria to work for a new you.  Check out the latest medical news on CBS NY!

Eat healthy! Be Happy!

Nicolette Pace



5 Don’ts that Destroy your Diet

By Nicolette M. Pace MS, RD, CDE, CDN, CFCS

Watching what you eat and then blowing the hard work on the foods below?  Double density diet don’ts defeat your diligence. These items pack a super high punch in calories from fat and sugar and due to low volume, water and fiber content will not make you feel as full as some other choices that can give you a better bang for your calorie buck.

1) Nibbles and Noshes: Super seasoned starters are a sneak preview of the critical mass that will kick in for the rest of the meal. Meal mistakes can begin before your entrée arrives and are especially troublesome for a hungry palate. Kick out the 4 digit calorie tidbits like fried cheese, meat fingers and piled on high nachos. Instead, look for a light soup or salad to take the edge off your hunger not saturate your taste buds with grease and salt.

2) Stacked, Packed and Ready to Attack: Pull the trigger with a sizzling  3-way jumbo combo or a quadruple overload for as much collateral damage as you can get. Melted meals or stuffed sides take you way out of the calorie world. Dense and concentrated, a one meal splurge will leave you with a hard to recover rehab for the rest of the week. Instead, go for meals that are jammed with high volume, high fiber veggies and are based on lean proteins like fish or chicken. You will feel full and satisfied and stay on your mark.

3) Heavy Munchie Suicide: Crunchy cravings lead to sticks and chips that blow your hips. These light-as-a-feather bags of carbs have the natural water content of the food replaced by fat from frying. Couple that to the “I can’t eat just one” seasoning to inflict maximum carnage in the impossible to put down bag of heavy calorie air. Between meal eating is a time to bridge the hunger gap until the next sit down not smuggle in calories and wreck your routine. Go for crunch in raw veggies and use low fat dressing to hold you until mealtime.

4) Lethal Liquids and the Beverage Blues: Suck up and slurp any of the most trendy toasts or bubbly boozes for a belly bomb and a widening waistline. Cozy coffees and fabulous frappes lead to a liver clogging river craving for the liquid plumber. Creamy coolers and swirled smoothies also top the list of weighty ways to stay hydrated. Go for the royal flush with pure water with any number of infused ingredients like citrus or berry juice for added flavor. Herbs like mint and ginger refresh and tone your system and are calorie free!

5) Sweet Emotion: When the going gets tough, sugar gets going. Feeling fatigued or stressed signals sweets making it easy to reach for the giant delights and donut bites that can finish you off. Stepping into a pothole of morsel madness or crusted clusters can coat your blood cells with sticky sugar and cause chaos. No matter how full you feel your brain will override this when sweets are in the picture. Try to work with nature and finish your meal with fruit or a small piece of chocolate for a lift and some health benefit…better yet try a power nap.

Be Healthy, Be Happy!

Nicolette M. Pace MS, RD, CDE, CDN, CFCS