A few days ago we went along to the Rooted Project‘s latest gut health event where we heard from Professor Kevin Whelan, who is Professor of Dietetics at King’s College London, and got involved with some networking and a Q&A with Dr Megan Rossi and Laura Thomas PhD.
For those who don’t know, the Rooted Project was set up by the two dietitians and babes Rosie Saunt and Helen West to create fun, evidenced-based nutrition talks for the public.
The night was particularly special for us, as we lost our vlogging virginity…
…and we also learned a lot about the human body that we didn’t know before. Here are some digestible (lol) bites of information we picked up from the event that might be usual to you if you’re interested in learning more about the workings of your gut.
1. Fibre is your friend
Dr Whelan presented the evidence for fibre’s help in the fight against colon and bowel cancer; nationwide, we don’t eat enough of the stuff so we should be eating as much as we can (providing we don’t have any other pre-existing medical conditions).
Fibre increases the weight of your poop, meaning there’s high quality evidence to suggest that it can relieve constipation. Aim for 30g of fibre per day by eating things such as baked beans or a jacket potato with the skin left on.
2. Look for HOW a study was conducted
There are LOTS of different types of scientific studies – varying in reliability and how much we can actually trust the findings to equate to scientific fact. Look for systematic reviews and randomised controlled studies for the highest level of reliability.
About 10-15% of people suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and symptoms vary massively. SOME are recommended to try a low FODMAP diet (more info in upcoming intolerances piece), but it is ESSENTIAL that this diet is:
a) followed with the help of a registered dietitian and
b) FODMAP foods are reintroduced into the diet gradually after a relatively short period of time. ONLY for people with DIAGNOSED IBS.
4. Don’t fret about sugar
For all you “sugar free” fiends – our body is remarkably good at controlling the amount of glucose in our blood naturally. Therefore, products or “health” gurus who claim to save you from the perils of high blood sugar are a load of old nonsense. Your blood sugar is fine. Unless you’ve been told otherwise by your GP.
5. What’s normal poo?
If you have blood in your poo, wake up in the night to go for a number two regularly, unexplained weight loss, swelling lump in gut visit your GP – they are red flags.
6. Digestion doesn’t have to be complicated
People forget the simple, basic things which effect our gut and digestion. For example, three healthy, balanced meals per day; not eating when stressed; not drinking loads of coffee. These small simple changes can make a huge difference to the workings of your gut.
7. Leaky gut
“Leaky Gut” is a SYMPTOM of a very serious Inflammatory Bowel Disease (i.e Crohn’s or Colitis), not a syndrome in itself. If you suspect you might have leaky gut because a health blogger told you so, the likelihood is that you don’t.
8. It’s all individual
Dietary advice is completely individual and there is no “one size fits all” fix. Just because it works for Joyce next door, doesn’t mean it will work for you!
The Rooted Project’s next event will be on March 30th, talking about diet & your DNA. See you there!