An unhealthy gut can cause a range of other health problems. And these health problems can be exacerbated if you're overweight or obese.

close up on lady's stomach with the gut system drawn on

You’ve probably heard a lot about gut health recently, words like probiotics, gut bacteria and the microbiome are hitting the health headlines on a regular basis. But did you know that poor gut health has direct links with obesity?

According to our latest report, Gut Health and weight loss, gut health and obesity go hand in hand. Poor-quality diets contribute to an unhealthy gut which can result in symptoms such as bloating, frequent heart burn, abdominal pain and constipation, and people who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience these symptoms.  Although people often think that they can improve their gut health by eating a tub of yogurt each day the current science suggest that it might take a little more than that.

A weighty reminder

So why all the hype around gut health?  Firstly, the gut is a major gateway to the rest of the body but it plays much more than just a supporting role in health and wellbeing – it is vital for keeping other body systems functioning optimally. The gut connects with other organs, including the brain, and has major input into the control of metabolism, inflammatory responses and immune system function. With fifty per cent of Australians experiencing digestive upsets and one in seven experiencing distressing gut symptoms affecting their quality of life, gut health is clearly quite a big deal.

The typical Australian diet can compromise gut function and health, in particular because of its low fibre content and lack of fibre diversity. Australians’ diets are also commonly rich in fat and protein, which in the context of low fibre intake, upsets the gut’s delicate microbial balance (“dysbiosis”), reducing the abundance and diversity of beneficial bacterial populations and increasing numbers of potentially harmful ones.

Graphic showing the symptoms of poor gut health: bloated stomach, frequent heartburn, abdominal pain, excessive flatulence, growling stomach, contipation or diarrhoea, frequent nausea, excessive burping

Symptoms of poor gut health

We’ve got the guts to tackle obesity

To help combat the rise of gut health related illness, we’ve launched a new Total Wellbeing Diet for Gut Health program which includes a higher fibre menu plan, combined with protein and low GI carbohydrates which are important for appetite control. Fibre is important as it helps to keep the gut healthy and has the capacity to aid laxation, reduce blood cholesterol and lower blood glucose. Thanks, fibre!

So we think we have established that fibre is your friend, but just in case you need further convincing, here are a few additional benefits of consuming more fibre.

  1. Fibre rich foods are lower in kilojoules which can help reduce energy absorption.
  2. Helps you feel full, curbing the risk of overeating.
  3. Feeds good gut bacteria which produce products that are vital for normal gut function.

The online program provides people with delicious new recipes focused on fibre diversity to improve gut microbiota and support weight loss and wellbeing.  This scientifically-validated healthy eating plan combined with exercise is an effective way to improve your overall health and wellbeing. It’s suitable for people who experience gut health symptoms and are struggling with their weight.