We use the term ‘dietary inflammation’ to capture the complex chain of unhealthy effects that can be caused by what we eat.
For example, let’s say you eat something that causes excessive blood sugar and fat spikes. These can overwhelm your body's normal, healthy responses. And over the following hours this can trigger a wide variety of harmful responses, including changes in blood fats that can damage arteries, blood sugar crashes, hunger, and the immune system triggering inflammatory processes.
What’s happening in your body?
Immediately after you eat…
It’s natural to see immediate change in your body after you eat, such as changes in your blood sugar and blood fat.
A few hours later....
If you have a healthy response we should see your body return to normal. But if a meal causes dietary inflammation then we may see signs of this, including blood sugar crashes, hunger, and immune system responses triggering inflammatory markers.
If repeated over months...
Continue to eat this way and you may see signs of low grade chronic inflammation, atherosclerosis, beta cell degradation, and weight gain.
After several years...
Sustained dietary inflammation over several years puts you at greater risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
How do you avoid dietary inflammation?
It’s as simple as eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones. The tricky part is that now we’re learning that what’s right for one person might not be for someone else. So unfortunately there’s no generic catch-all advice we can just give to everyone.
That’s why we want to help you understand your own body and your unique responses to the food you eat.
How do you bring your gut into play?
How exactly microbes influence our metabolism is unclear, but our studies suggest gut microbes play an important role in how well we cope with dietary inflammation.
Good gut health seems to provide a protective effect, as it is associated with positive responses and lower levels of body fat, especially visceral (belly) fat.
Our research has identified 15 bacteria associated with good metabolism and 15 with bad metabolism. Much of the advice you’ll get from ZOE will be about helping you create the conditions for the good bacteria to thrive.
We’ve even discovered certain foods that are associated with these bacteria which will allow us to give you personalized ‘gut boosters’ with your results.