Diet #6: Clever Guts

For my 6th 4-week diet I’m trying another diet from the Michael Moseley stable. This one is his “clever guts diet” which is based upon…

  1. Research suggesting that the bacteria in the gut (your “microbiome”) is much more important than previously thought, and
  2. Eating certain things can influence the gut microbiome


Basically we’re full of tiny beasties of different kinds, which help us digest stuff. If the balance of beasties is out then we get immune problems, depression, gut discomfort, put on weight, crave particular foods, and pretty much everything else can go wrong too.

In order to influence gut bacteria you have to eat stuff that the bacteria like (pre-biotics) – omega 3, resistant starch, various nutrients. You can try and eat some useful bacteria (pro-biotics) although the chances of them getting through as far as the gut might not be that good. You also have to not eat from time to time, because some of the bacteria feed upon the gut mucus that is there when you’re not digesting food – this means fasting. In a sense, this is a 5:2-style intermittent fasting diet with added fermented stuff and more specification about what you should and shouldn’t eat on the 5-days.  It’s the bastard offspring of the 5-2 with the Mediterranean diet, but with extra sauerkraut.

Splitting the world into good foods and bad foods is a bit over-simplistic but that’s never stopped me before so here we go:

Good foods Bad foods
Vegetables. Particularly vegetables with lots of different colours because they probably contain a bigger range of nutrients.
Extra virgin olive oil and rapeseed oil
Most nuts & seeds
Beans and legumes
Fish particularly oily fish
Fruit (but not tropical fruit because that’s got lots of sugar in it)
Cheese. Particularly blue cheese. Yum, microbes!
Yoghurt and Kefir
Kimchee and Sauerkraut
Spices and herbs
Processed food
Things with lots of sugar in
Deep fried stuff

Some stuff is in a grey area – bread for example; rye bread and sourdough wholegrain bread, both good. White bread probably not. I’m not sure about butter, but margarine is out. Milk is a maybe. Soya milk? I’ll probably try not to have too much. Breakfast cereal? I guess it’s processed.  I don’t really eat fish so I’ll have to have linseeds and walnuts to get the omega three.



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