Gut Health - 5 Practical Takeaways from Gabrielle Fundaro Podcast

Podcast length (67 minutes)

YouTube link

Dr. Gabrielle Fundaro

Steves Review

*Anyone looking for a thorough understanding of these topics I recommend listening to the entire podcast. When writing a review for clients I want to make them simple and easy to apply. But many of these topics are complex, so please don’t overreact to a phrase in the review that’s taken out of context. The timestamps are provided for you to go back and watch the full discussion of each takeaway.

Low-Fat and Low Saturated Fat Diets Correlate with Healthier Guts (22:11)

Gabrielle shares research showing a high-carb, high-fiber, low-fat intake correlates with greater gut bacteria diversity (good thing) and reduced incidence of gut permeability (also good.) As far as classifying “low-fat” she gives two guidelines.

  1. Less than 40% total calories from fat. I’ve converted 40% into macronutrient grams for better context. 1,500 calorie diet = <67g fat, 2,000 calorie diet = <89g fat, 2,500 calorie diet = <111g fat.

  2. Less than 50% of total fat comes from saturated fat. Using the calorie intakes above, that would be less than 33g, 45g and 56g respectively.

Variety of Protein and Fiber Sources is Best (29:00)

This shouldn’t come as a shock, but Gabrielle discusses a mixture of animal based proteins and plant based proteins is best to promote healthy mucus levels in the gut. However, she doesn’t give any concrete numbers of percent of each. It’s safe to say though, that some of your protein intake should be from plants and or grains. Think oatmeal, beans, nuts, broccoli and peas for some options.

She also touches on the importance of fiber variety. It’s important to get fiber from fruits, vegetables and starches for a total fiber intake of 25-40 grams per day.

Decreasing Lactose and Sugar Alcohols to Ease GI Discomfort (35:43)

I liked her recommendation of removing lactose for one-week to see if that helps your GI discomfort. As oppose to more aggressive approaches, this is simple and most people should be able to adhere to this long enough to find out if lactose is their issue.

She recommends limiting sugar alcohols to less than 20g per day if you’re experiencing GI discomfort. In my experience, excessive sugar alcohol intake is common with physique athletes who consume large quantities of calorie-free foods like Walden Farms and energy drinks. Many protein bars also contain sugar alcohols, such as 5 grams found in One bars. In moderation, such as a protein bar 2-3 times per week, shouldn’t cause an issue. But if you’re the type of person to have erythritol in your coffee, protein bar as a snack and calorie free energy drink in the afternoon, those sugar alcohols can add up and may be the cause if you’re having GI discomfort.

A Probiotic Supplement is Not Needed for a Healthy Gut (38:50)

In this portion of the podcast she discusses pre and probiotics and the usefulness of a probiotic supplement. I found it refreshing that she actually didn’t recommend a supplement for most individuals. With some exceptions, such as individuals currently or have recently been on antibiotics or who have been treated for IBS. She mentioned that a good probiotic supplement will provide billions of CFU’s and cost around $50/month. And cheaper products that don’t provide CFU’s in the billions aren’t doing much.

With Normal Intakes Artificial Sweeteners Aren’t Wrecking Your Gut (45:20)

In the limited research available on artificial sweeteners and gut, the dosages shown to cause issues is astronomical. In one study that linked artificial sweeteners to insulin resistance the individuals consumed roughly 1 diet soda for every 4 lbs. of bodyweight. That would equal 45 diet sodas per day for someone 180 lbs. It’s not hard to find people online bashing artificial sweeteners. They love pointing to a study proving their bias, but not understanding the actual relevance of it. This is a reoccurring theme for pseudo evidence-based individuals and also happens with sugar intake. This is why we have professionals who understand research and human physiology, not just people that read headlines and share them on Facebook.