There is No Such Thing as a Harmless Biscuit

Sugar/junk food addiction comes from many avenues, one that I’m talking about today is our gut bacteria. In our guts we have trillions of bacteria that make up a natural biome responsible for a huge part of our immune system among other things. What gut biome we have is heavily related to our diet and other lifestyle choices. Other such activities that may affect gut bacteria other than diet are: drug use including alcohol and tobacco, sleep, stress and disease. Nutritionally our biomes are dictated by the diversity of the foods we eat such as how much fibre is consumed, a good number to adhere to is 14 grams of fibre per 1000 calories consumed, an easy way to keep track of this is by using the free mobile app myfitnesspal, ensure to consume multiple sources of fibre from different fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and keeping your carbohydrate sources varied too but try to not include wheat.


This brings me to my main point, there is no such thing as a harmless biscuit. Have you ever noticed that after one biscuit you are always up for “one more”? Or have you noticed that once you begin your diet of healthy eating its somewhat easy once you get going but those first few days and sometimes weeks can be difficult, not just mentally but you genuinely feel physically addicted to whatever it is that you are not supposed to be consuming?


As I mentioned in the opening statement there are many reasons for this and the one I’m making a point on is our gut biome. For some people or arguably for everyone but only at some points in our lives we can have “anything in moderation” unfortunately this is not the case for some and it is up to you as an individual to assess whether or not you can have a harmless biscuit with no consequences. I know for myself that there have been times in my life where a single piece of harmless food was what caused a cascade of events such as going on a bender and eating out the entire fridge.


I understand it may seem overkill to point the finger at a single piece of food, if you feel this is too harsh then I can only imagine that you have never experienced this feeling of moreishness when it comes to snack food and I envy you.


This potential physical addiction may come from our gut biome, it survives on what we eat as well as the by-products of what we eat, we are quite literally what we eat. If you have been consuming a particular food in your diet this will be represented in your gut biome and if you suddenly stop consuming this food such as high sugars found in fizzy drinks, cakes, biscuits, breads, breakfast cereals etc then your guts biomes response is to try to get you back on these foods for their own survival.


Equipped with this knowledge you can at least know what may be going on and have strength to battle it. What this possibly means is that for some even just the smallest piece of bread or drink of juice can spell disaster and be the trigger for a poor eating again.


The take home message: consume multiple fibre sources from fruits, veg, nuts, seeds and carbohydrates but not wheat, for carbohydrate sources try; buckwheat, plain oats, brown rice, white rice, white and sweet potatoes and amaranth. Use an app like myfitnesspal to keep track (at least for a week or 2 to see what fibre in your diet looks like), eating one piece of food that is undesirable may spell disaster for you, those cravings are not all in your head and may be more physical than you first realised.


In my next few blog posts look forward to hearing about my own fitness goal/gym routine/philosophy and perhaps some posts about a hobby I take part in that helps with mobility and active recovery as well as bridging that gap between a sedentary lifestyle and an active one. You can read ahead, my routine is based on the Westside barbell conjugate method and the hobby I’m talking about is of course Kendama.

by Sean Cosgrove


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