Fast Food Can Kill Gut Bacteria That Keep Humans Thin: New Study

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A hamburger sits on a corner.
In PHOTO: A hamburger is displayed in Hollywood, California October 3, 2007. Reuters

Fast food items can kill the good bacteria in the gut that exhaust excess energies and thus, can make people fat. This is just one reason amongst the many explanations why fast food and unvaried diet can cause increased weight. Furthermore, the new research explained that intake of just a few meals consisting of highly processed food can kill hundreds of good gut bacteria. This may then cause harmful effects to the overall digestive processes of humans.

Study author Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London explained this new research in his book entitled The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat. He further presented in the book how a diet consisting of different types of food can boost the function of gut bacteria, which is said to prevent heart diseases, hypertension and high cholesterol. With this, he said that a healthy diet does not merely exclude high-fat or high-sugar food items, contrary to what the public believes.

A highly-varied diet with a valuable slash in fast food is then recommended. It is said that majority of individuals consume only less than 20 types of food, of which most are artificially refined. People should consume more kinds of food and change their food choices once in a while to allow a range of nutrients inside the body. This is also the philosophy of the popular Atkins diet, which was adapted by approximately 3 million Britons during its peak fame. Today, different variations of the said diet are still being practiced by some people. According to the study, it is better to munch on garlic and dark chocolates, or gulp Belgian beer and coffee, as this can enhance the activity of gut microbes.

Tom, Spector’s 23-year-old son and genetics student at Aberystwyth University underwent a previous experiment that involved the consumption of only McDonald’s fast food items for 10 days. This was a reverberation of the 2004 movie, “Super Size Me,” which was created by Morgan Spurlock. "Once on the diet I rapidly lost 1,300 species of bacteria and my gut was dominated by a different group called bacteroidetes," he told The Sunday Times. He gained a total of four pounds during the experiment.

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