(NaturalPath) According to a study out of the University of New South Wales, an alternating diet between a healthy diet and binge-eating junk food on the weekends may be just as bad for your gut health as a consistent diet of junk food. The study conducted on rats was published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
The researchers succinctly described the human microbiome as holding up to 100 trillion microbial cells that influence metabolism, nutrition and immune function, which is why keeping it healthy is so important. If it is disrupted it could cause gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and obesity.
The study was conducted by comparing the microbiota of rats either given the healthy diet, junk food diet or one cycled between healthy four days and junk for three over the course of 16 weeks. Then the researchers looked at metabolic markers including body weight, fat mass, insulin and leptin. The study concluded that after the 16 weeks, the cycled diet rats were 18 percent heavier than those on the healthy diet. Additionally, the microbiota of the cycled diet rats was almost indistinguishable from the junk food rats and both were significantly different from the healthy diet rats.
For more information, read the full study.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.