DIET CONFUSION KILLING GUT BACTERIA

From Paleo to the high-fat Keto, today Kiwis are constantly inundated with promises of better health and wellbeing through extreme clean diets, or the latest ‘superfoods’ and supplements, leaving many consumers scratching their heads when it comes to what’s actually good for them. With so much conflicting information out there about what people should and shouldn’t be eating, it’s no wonder that nearly half of all New Zealanders (46 percent) feel more confused than ever when it comes to what foods are truly ‘healthy’.

Kiwi adults are falling short of adequate dietary fibre daily intake by around 7g per day on average. This fibre inadequacy could be having a major impact on the nation’s gut health, with fibre and especially grain fibre being an essential food source for good bacteria.

“Fibre is the only thing we eat that makes it all the way into the gut still intact,” said Hannah Eriksen from the Nutrition Foundation. “It gives the gut bacteria something to do - they go to work, breaking it down and producing compounds that keep us healthy. Grain fibre, like what’s in breakfast cereal, acts as a food source for the gut, it helps good bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus to survive and thrive. That means a healthier gut”.

To help educate Kiwis on the importance of grain fibre to support good gut health, Kellogs is launching New Zealand’s first ever Gut Bacteria Zoo, in partnership with Whoa! Studios. The interactive exhibition gives families a chance to get up-close-and-personal with a few of the good bacteria living in their gut via animatronic versions of Bifido (Bifidobacteria), Lacto (Lactobacillus) and Strepto (Streptococcus).

“Through the Kellogg’s Gut Bacteria Zoo, families who visit will get the chance to learn more about these elusive, friendly creatures that live within our stomachs and how we can help take care of them, so that they can thrive,” said Ben O’Brien, Kellogs country manager. “With fibre, and especially grain fibre, a key food source for our gut bacteria, breakfast cereals are actually a great place to start. We have 19 different cereals that are either a ‘source of’ or ‘high in’ grain fibre – so there is plenty of choice to help support your gut health.”