The Whole View, Season 3 Ep 34: Don’t Diet, Diversify w/ Dr. Megan Rossi

Welcome Dr. Megan Rossi to the Whole View! This week, Stacy and Dr. Megan break down how to diversify gut health and the science behind how fad diets impact the gut microbiome. Dr. Megan (PhD BHSc RD APD) provides and empowers listeners by sharing fad-free information and trusted advice backed up by credible science!

Find Dr. Megan: 

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Key Takeaways

Introductions

  • Known as The Gut Health Doctor, Dr. Megan Rossi is an internationally influential gut-health specialist. She’s a practicing dietitian and nutritionist, as well as a leading Research Fellow at King’s College London.
  • Dr. Megan is the founder of The Gut Health Clinic, where she leads a team of gut-specialist dietitians. She’s been featured in Women’s Health, Business Insider, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, and more. With an engaged social media following of over 370K!
  • AND, she’s a dog mom to an adorable Boston Terrier named Pistachio who is a ham, full of attitude, just like Stacy’s BT, Penny.
  • Stacy is very picky about dietitians she invites on the show because it’s incredibly hard to walk the line of improving health through diet and lifestyle without bringing in diet culture or creating something inaccessible to most people. But Dr. Megan’s new book focuses on something science undoubtedly supports, without diet dogma: How to Eat More Plants.

Diversify Gut Health

  • It’s really defeating when people jump onto different health bandwagons because they think they’re doing good when the research actually says the complete opposite.
  • Nuts and seeds are an important group because they’re often demonized for being fattening and too high in calories. But they’ve got a wealth of nutrition that makes them really important.
  • Dr. Megan sees this as a principle of inclusion, not exclusion. It’s about the relationship you have with food. She’s had clients say they can’t keep chocolate in their house because the whole block would be gone and it’s this kind of labeling of food as being “naughty” that makes it so they can’t control themselves. 
  • When we move to a way of thinking where nothing is excluded, but to include instead, it’s a healthier mindset in terms of your relationship which is key. 

Topics Discussed 

  • The secret when trying to diversify gut health (and a healthier body and mind overall) is the microbes: the trillions of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. These microbes thrive on fiber, and as many different types as they can get. This is the core reasoning behind making plants the center of our diets, and it is crucial to our well-being and longevity.
  • According to Dr. Megan, we should be eating 30 different types of plants each week to achieve optimal gut health! Stacy and Dr. Sarah covered this and how it’s not as difficult as it sounds in TWV Episode 424
  • Referring to food as “fiber” instead of carbohydrates takes the dogma and divisiveness and the shame around foods that have carbs away.
  • Stacy actually did a year of meal plans on the blog with a minimum of 30 servings of plants (fruits and veggies) per week with just dinners alone. It is easier than people realize! Dr. Megan’s work is helping people see how accessible it can be because it sounds overwhelming.
  • Many believe that cutting out all gluten-containing foods will result in better health. But the reality is quite the opposite and many studies have demonstrated the negative impact it has when trying to diversify gut health.
  • One study (published in Nature) showed that following a low-gluten diet in healthy people (without coeliac disease) reduced key gut bacteria that have been associated with anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting benefits, such as Bidifobacteria. The issue is that gluten-free eaters also tend to eat less grain fibre. Remember fibre is our gut bacteria’s favorite group of nutrient and different fibers feed different gut bacteria i.e. the fiber from veg is different to that from grains. [Source]

Want More? Have Questions?

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Note: Stacy and her guests are not medical professionals. This podcast is for general educational purposes and NOT intended to diagnose, advise, or treat any physical or mental illness. We always recommend you consult a licensed service provider.

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