We have entered the post Thanksgiving pre Christmas lull, that time when you may want to start new healthy habits but feel like you should wait because Christmas is coming. I know that after a weekend of sitting around more and eating/drinking things that I normally don’t I am definitely ready for a some healthy challenges. In years past if I don’t get after a health challenge post holiday it is WAY too easy to stay eating more sugar, less veggies and start feeling worse than I should. Don’t ignore the impulse to start a healthy trend in your life now just because of what may happen in a month, start the habits, use the motivation that is waiting for you.

Speaking of healthy trends, a few newsletters back we referenced a study showing artificial sweeteners like aspartame could severely change your crucial gut bacteria balance even in low amounts, well here is more fuel for the “anti artificial sweetener fire”. Recent studies have shown that aspartame actually blocks a key enzyme that prevents obesity in your gut leading to increased weight gain while consuming a normal diet and the weight gain was even worse on a higher fat diet. The study also showed much higher levels of TNF alpha, a protein that is related to inflammation in the body and increased risk for Metabolic Syndrome. So, the moral of the story is ditch the artificial sweeteners!

Sticking on the gut bacteria theme, researchers have shown that bacteria like the ones we recommend in office, can switch your genes on and off depending on the foods you eat. A straight forward example for what these bugs do is healthy gut bugs eat food and poop nutrition and bad gut bugs eat food and poop toxins. New studies have shown that not only are these bacteria responsible for making nutrition, effecting the immune system they also change who we are through our DNA. This is important because the changes that happen to our DNA can effect hundreds of factors that change how we look, feel and age. Take care of your bacteria by eating lots of colorful fruits and veggies, taking a probiotic, avoiding artificial sweeteners and reducing sugar.

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